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Merkley praises Senate plan
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon, applauded the news that the Monsanto Protection Act would expire under the provisions of the Continuing Resolution being drafted by Senate Democrats.
“This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals,” Merkley said. “This secret rider, which was slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year, instructed the Secretary of Agriculture to allow GMO crops to be cultivated and sold even when our courts had found they posed a potential risk to farmers of nearby crops, the environment and human health. I applaud the hundreds of thousands of Americans who have worked hard to end this diabolical provision.”
After constituents brought their concerns to Merkley at town hall meetings April 1 in Jackson, Josephine and Curry counties, he waged a campaign against the Monsanto Protection Act, leading an online petition and offering an amendment to the Farm Bill that would have killed it. After his amendment was blocked, Merkley worked with legislative leaders to seek to ensure that the provision would expire at the end of the month.
“We applaud Sen. Merkley for restoring a proper checks and balances to the system,” said Jeff Matthias of La Grande’s Oregon Rural Action.
Matthias said Oregon Rural Action wants people to know about GMOs and their positive and negative effects.
He said at the state level there is a push to take away local control of genetically modified crops.
“We’re against that. We want local control of our own communities,” Matthias said. “If you take away any local control of seeds and products of those seeds, you put it into the hands of folks in Salem.”