“Not So Fast My Friend”, Lawmakers Seize on Farm Bill

Looking back on the last few weeks, Ag Bio has been having a great run in Washington DC.

First, President Obama signed into law the Continuing Resolution, funding government through this fiscal year. Part of the CR, section 735, provided farmers with much needed security, or as it has become to be known, the Biotech Rider.

Then,  The Supreme Court ruled unanimously that farmers could not use Monsanto’s patented genetically altered soybeans to create new seeds without paying the company a fee.

And, finally the Agricultural Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013 represents the most significant reform of American agriculture policy in decades, the bill includes mandatory funding for the Energy Title programs and eligibility for renewable chemicals.

BIO President and CEO Jim Greenwood noted, “Reauthorization of Farm Bill energy programs with robust mandatory funding will help innovative U.S. companies continue to commercialize advanced biotech processes. Putting homegrown technologies to work converting domestic crops and residues to value added products can create high-quality rural jobs, spur economic growth, and improve environmental health. Granting long-overdue eligibility for renewable chemical projects will revive America’s manufacturing sector and improve U.S. economic competitiveness.”

So yes, things seemed to be going pretty well for Ag Bio,

Yesterday, Ben Goad from The Hill, reported that lawmakers have added hundreds of proposed amendments to the farm bill, many of which are designed to crack down on GM practices.  One amendment will repeal the “Biotech Rider” another would require GM food to be labeled. Another would require the FDA and the USDA to study the countries that already require GM labeling. One amendment (from Sen Mark Begich: D-Alaska) would ban the sale of GM Salmon. And finally one amendment makes it clear that the states have the right to enact their own labeling laws.

Things were going kind of well, for once, just for a little while. Now most of these amendments won’t make it through, but it does bog down the process, and we need this Farm Bill passed.

This is a conversation, not an editorial. Did I forget something, get it wrong or do you agree? Please Comment, Like, Re-Tweet and and Share.

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