Senator Richard C. Shelby (R-AL)
6th-term Republican from Alabama.
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All messages are published with permission of the sender. The general topic of this message is Consumer Affairs:
Drop the Biotech Rider from the CR

Sen. Richard Shelby

March 13, 2013

I am joining with the Center For Food Safety and writing you to express strong opposition to the biotech rider, section 735, that is currently included in the Senate Continuing Resolution, and urge you to support the Tester amendment (#74) to strike the rider.
Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this corporate welfare earmark is simply a biotech industry ploy to continue to sell GE seeds even when a court of law has found they were approved by USDA illegally. It is unnecessary and an unprecedented attack on U.S. judicial review. Congress should not be meddling with the judicial review process based solely on the special interest of a handful of companies. I this goes through corporate interests will have been promoted over the
"general welfare" our constitution proclaims the aim of this government.
The judicial review process is an essential element of U.S law and serves as a vital check on any Federal Agency decision that may negatively impact human health, the environment or livelihoods. Yet this provision seeks an end-run around such judicial review by preemptively deciding that industry can set its own conditions to continue to sell biotech seeds, even if a court may find them to have been wrongfully approved.
The provision further forces USDA to immediately approve any permits for continued planting the industry requests, putting industry completely in charge by allowing for a “back door approval” mechanism. USDA’s duty is to protect the interests of all farmers and the environment, a duty that would be eliminated by this provision. The American people overwhelmingly support the mission and existence of agencies like the USDA, FDA, EPA and regulations that keep bad products, practices and dangerous substances out of their homes, the environment and food chain. To continue to ignore the will and the needs of the 99% imperils democracy.
The provision is also completely unnecessary. No farmer has ever had his or her crops destroyed. Every court to decide these issues has carefully weighed the interests of farmers, as is already required by law.
I strongly oppose the biotech rider, section 735, and urge you to support the Tester amendment (#74).

Huntsville , AL