The Senate will take up the farm bill this week, and we need you to contact your senators about several key amendments. There’s no time to waste. Please read through the list of important votes below, and contact your senators today! You can call the senate switchboard and ask to be connected: (202) 224-3121. Or you can look up the number for your senators here.
Repeal the Monsanto Protection Act
Now’s our chance! The Monsanto Protection Act, Sen. Roy Blunt’s (R-Mo.) love note to his state’s most notorious corporation (and one of his top contributors) could be repealed by the Senate this week!
Ask you’re your senators today: Please support Sen. Jeff Merkely’s (D-Ore.) amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill to repeal the infamous Monsanto Protection Act. The rider was slipped, without debate or a vote, into the emergency Continuing Resolution signed into law in March, to fund the U.S. government through Sept. 30.
Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) will offer an amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill to repeal the infamous Monsanto Protection Act, which gives Monsanto immunity from federal law. As long as it remains in force, even the federal courts can’t stop Monsanto from planting new genetically modified crops, even if they were illegally approved and could threaten human health or the environment.
The outrage that erupted in response to its passage made the Monsanto Protection Act national news. It was lampooned by Jon Stewart on the Daily Show. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), who sponsored the Continuing Resolution, offered a public apology. Now, there’s a campaign to force Sen. Blunt to resign and worldwide “March Against Monsanto” protests are scheduled for May 25.
The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the farm bill on Monday, so please take action today.Repeal the Monsanto Protection Act!
Let Farmers Grow Industrial Hemp in the U.S. Again!
Farmers in Kentucky, Vermont, North Dakota and other states are seeking permission from the federal government to grow industrial hemp, a crop that the Obama administration treats like marijuana under the law. This doesn’t make sense. The products of industrial hemp are legal and widely used in organic food, clothing and plant-based materials like plastics and biofuels. Why should farmers in other countries get to grow the hemp we use in the United States?
Please call your senators and ask them to vote for Senator Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky) industrial hemp amendment to the Farm Bill.
Farm Bill Money for Hungry Kids Not Insurance Companies!
The Senate version of the farm bill proposes to cut $4.1 billion over 10 years from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the nation’s largest domestic food aid program. Sen. Kristin Gillibrand (D-NY) has proposed an amendment to restore the $4.1 billion in cuts to foods stamps. The Gillibrand amendment takes the $4.1 billion from payments to crop insurance companies without reducing the insurance subsidies paid directly to farmers.
Please call your senators today and ask them to vote YES on Sen. Gillibrand’s amendment. Please tell your senators: Farm Bill money should be used to feed hungry kids, not pad the profits of insurance companies!
Our Seeds Shouldn’t All Be Owned By Monsanto!
Farmers constantly face changing climate, insect, weed, and disease pressures that vary by region, and they lament reduced options in regionally appropriate seed cultivars held in the public domain. Crops must continuously be adapted to meet these changes, and the most productive approach is to have seeds adapted to the same environment as their intended use through classical plant breeding.
Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) is introducing a Farm Bill amendment next week that aims to reinvigorate classical plant breeding and public cultivar development. Please call you’re your senators and urge them to support Sen. Tester’s amendment to reinvigorate classical plant breeding to ensure farmers have the seed they need to be successful. Developing regionally appropriate seed varieties held in the public domain is paramount to the success of U.S. agriculture.
The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the farm bill on Monday, May 18, although final votes might take place after Memorial Day. Please call your senators today at (202) 224-3121!
The House and Senate ag committees both approved their respective versions of the farm bill last week. The five-year bill could be brought to the House floor for a final vote in June, and possibly pass before the August recess.