"They are trying to change the rules," Center for Food Safety lawyer George Kimbrell, who has lawsuits pending against government regulators for failing to follow the law in approving certain biotech crops, told the wire service. "It is to the detriment of good governance, farmers and to the environment."
Abbott and Gilliam note that the House could take up a measure that would allow biotech crops to be planted even if courts rule they were approved illegally. That could happen as early as next week. Opponents call it the "Monsanto Rider" because Monsanto's genetically altered alfalfa and sugar beets have been subject to court challenges for illegal regulatory approvals.
Last week 40 food businesses, retailers, family farmers and others sent a protest letter to House Agriculture Committee leaders "calling on them to strike pro-biotech provisions added to the draft of the Farm Bill," Reuters notes. "The measures followed several court rulings that regulators did not follow legal requirements in approving some biotech crops, and would nullify just such legal requirements in the future. Environmental hazards associated with biotech crops, including the rapid rise of 'superweeds' that cannot be killed with traditional herbicides, would not have to be taken under consideration by regulators in new approvals, the critics say." (Read more)