It’s that exciting time of the year again when the Senate and House
Appropriations Committees gets together to hash out the annual
agriculture budget. I know, right? Really fun stuff.
This year, in addition to the usual underfunding of legislation that could make the food system more sustainable,
the appropriations process has become especially charged, thanks to a
one-paragraph addition called the “farmer assurance provision.” The
provision — which the agriculture committee approved last week, but has
yet to go to the full House — would allow farmers to plant and grow GMO
crops before they’ve been deemed safe. Or, more accurately, if it
passes, farmers will be able to plant these crops while legal battles
ensue over their safety.
Groups ranging from the Center for Food Safety and the National
Family Farm Coalition to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Sierra
Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists are all opposing the provision, which they’re calling the “Monsanto Protection Act.”