What about that “biotech rider” in the Farm Bill?

One of the provisions in the Farm Bill passed by the House Agriculture Committee would limit the legal roadblocks which can currently be used to delay approval of genetically engineered crops. The so-called “biotech rider” has drawn opposition from a number of organizations who say it weakens safeguards and greatly reduces the public’s ability to challenge the approval of new biotech crops. The Center for Food Safety states: “Ceding broad and unprecedented powers to the industry, the rider poses a direct threat to the authority of the U.S. courts, jettisons the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s established oversight powers on key agriculture issues and puts the nation’s farmers and food supply at risk.”

Cathleen Enright, PhD, Executive Vice President, Food and Agriculture with the Biotechnology Industry Organization says the law in no way reduces the regulatory requirements a product must go through before gaining approval, it merely would eliminate the extensive, baseless procedural lawsuits which have been used to delay approvals. Enright says the measure would not limit or eliminate any legitimate lawsuit. Enright says up to 2002 it took an average 180 days to get a decision on a product, “Now we are looking at two to five years or even longer.” She says as a result, small innovative companies can’t afford to go through the lengthy process.

AUDIO:Enright talks about the measure 4:30 mp3

We did request an interview with someone with the Center for Food Safety but they replied: “Unfortunately we don’t have anything to report on at this time.”


© Copyright 2012 Brownfield, All rights Reserved. Written For: Brownfield

Comments

  1. Jessica Denning says:

    Please do not leave the biotech rider on the Ag Bill. These novel crops are presently only tested by the chemical companies who have patented them.
    There is no labeling to advise consumers that they are becoming part of a riskyexperiment.
    And there is no labeling to allow these health effects to be traced.
    It is the perfect crime: most baby formula is bovine growth hormone milk, unbeknownst to the infants or their mothers, for instance.
    Until these transgenic foods with unpredictable side effects need to be approved with extreme caution, because the pollen mixes with heirloom plants and dooms generations to come with loss of our genetic heritage.
    Extreme caution is needed, especially since the first long term study of Gmo corn, using the same rats and protocol as Monsanto’s, reveals the need for long term testing for cancer tests.
    Please protect the people, soil and crops by not handing over power to the Ag biotech
    Corporations

  2. annie says:

    i appreciate the posting of this article… thank you very much. however, i feel that a comment from someone within the biotech industry still makes me feel queasy about such a lax response. .. please keep us posted, nonetheless..

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