Monsanto: Official Statement On Falsely Labeled ‘Monsanto Protection Act’

As a member of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), we were pleased to support the Farmer Assurance Provision with major grower groups, including the American Farm Bureau Federation, the American Seed Trade Association, the American Soybean Association, the American Sugarbeet Growers Association, the National Corn Growers Association, the National Cotton Council, and several others. Additional supporters included former Secretaries of Agriculture.

A broad bipartisan group of legislators in both the House and Senate have supported the provision dating back to June 2012, and it passed with broad bipartisan support.

As we understand it, the point of the Farmer Assurance Provision is to strike a careful balance allowing farmers to continue to plant and cultivate their crops subject to appropriate environmental safeguards, while USDA conducts any necessary further environmental reviews. 

The following letter, submitted by the industry in June 2012, provides additional information about what the provision is intended to accomplish:


June 12, 2012

The Honorable Harold Rogers
Chairman
House Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
H-307 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Norm Dicks
House Committee on Appropriations
U.S. House of Representatives
1016 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Rogers and Ranking Member Dicks:

Our organizations strongly support Section 733 of the Fiscal Year 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. The provision will give growers assurance that crops developed through biotechnology that have already been approved by the Department of Agriculture (USDA) can be planted and harvested under temporary stewardship conditions in the event of litigation against the agency’s decision. We commend Subcommittee Chairman Kingston for including Section 733 in the subcommittee bill and urge your support for this necessary provision when the Appropriations Committee considers this bill later this month. The provision addresses a costly vulnerability in the regulatory process for biotechnology that is discouraging innovation in agriculture and unnecessarily putting farmers at financial risk.

We support an efficient, predictable, and scientifically sound regulatory framework for biotechnology, are supportive of this provision, and continue to seek additional solutions to strengthen the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology.

Opponents of agricultural biotechnology have repeatedly filed suits against USDA on procedural grounds in order to disrupt the regulatory process and undermine the science‐based regulation of such products. These lawsuits have also created tremendous resource constraints for USDA and have resulted in significant delays in approval of new, innovative products that will help growers provide Americans with an abundant and economical food supply while remaining competitive in the world market. Activist groups have made it clear they will continue to use the court system to challenge regulatory approvals of corn, soybean and other biotechnology‐derived crops, and have openly stated their intention to use litigation as a way to impede the availability of new technology to growers and consumers.

In the case of alfalfa, our nation’s fourth largest crop, a court‐ordered injunction against planting during a lengthy and duplicative environmental safety review of glyphosate‐tolerant alfalfa meant that farmers were barred from planting for nearly four years. The Supreme Court later decided 7‐1 in Monsanto v. Geertson that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals injunction overstepped its authority.

Despite the positive Supreme Court alfalfa ruling in Geertson, growers are still vulnerable to a single judge inappropriately determining that future plantings of a crop cannot continue until the federal government completes an additional multi‐year environmental analysis. Indeed, the plaintiffs in the litigation have previously requested that existing crops be destroyed because, they argued, the existing federal analyses were not sufficiently detailed despite the agency’s clear expression of the science supporting a given decision and plaintiffs’ equally clear lack of scientific justification to the contrary.

The language in Section 733 maintains the ability of growers to continue to grow previously deregulated crops while giving the Secretary of Agriculture the authority to impose immediate interim measures if a judge rules that a “deregulation” determination was not properly granted for a biotechnology‐derived crop. Such interim measures have previously been imposed by USDA for glyphosate‐tolerant sugarbeets in 2011, but even those interim measures for sugarbeets are now being litigated. The language ensures growers can continue planting and cultivating their crops – with appropriate interim conditions – while disputes about the sufficiency of federal analysis and paperwork continue.

Section 733 provides certainty to growers with respect to their planting decisions. If enacted, growers would be assured that the crops they plant could continue to be grown, subject to appropriate interim conditions, even after a judicial ruling against USDA. Moreover, the language would apply only to products that have already satisfactorily completed the U.S. regulatory review process and does not remove or restrict anyone’s right to challenge USDA once a determination of no plant pest risk has been made.

The inclusion of Section 733 is a positive step to ensure U.S. farmers and our food chain are shielded from supply disruptions caused by litigation over procedural issues unrelated to sound science or the safety of biotech crops. This legislative solution ensures that national agricultural policy is not being decided by the court system while providing a level of certainty that is critical to ensure that our agricultural producers continue to lead the world.

Again, we commend Subcommittee Chairman Kingston’s efforts and urge the support of Section 733 in the Fiscal Year 2013 Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Appropriations Act. In addition, we look forward to working with Congress to find additional solutions to strengthen the regulatory framework and improve the efficiency and predictability of the Coordinated Framework for the Regulation of Biotechnology.

Sincerely,

Agricultural Retailers Association
American Farm Bureau Federation
American Seed Trade Association
American Soybean Association
American Sugarbeet Growers Association
Biotechnology Industry Organization
National Association of Wheat Growers
National Corn Growers Association
National Cotton Council
National Council of Farmer Cooperatives

Leave a Reply

2 comments on “Monsanto: Official Statement On Falsely Labeled ‘Monsanto Protection Act’

  1. No GMO please. Keep your genetically engineered unicorns and your pesticides in your own kitchen. Real beets and real alfalfa were fine before.

Legislation Stories

Soybean Plant closeup
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Pat Tiberi Legislator Of The Year
August 3, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that Congressman Pat Tiberi (R-OH) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Soybean Field
LegislationOhio Soybean Association Names Brian Hill Legislator Of The Year
July 19, 2016
The Ohio Soybean Association (OSA) has announced that State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has been named one of two Legislators of Read More
Grower Truck at retailer
CropLife 100ARA Seeks Comment on Ag Driver Sleep Apnea Issue
July 5, 2016
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) are seeking public Read More
LegislationVilsack Christens WinField Crop Adventure, Talks Monsanto-Bayer, GMO-Labeling and TPP
June 17, 2016
The WinField Crop Adventure grand opening ceremonies at Fair Oaks Farms (near Winemac, IN) welcomed USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Read More
Trending Articles
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
Key Cooperative Marcus Construction Steel Building
Retail FacilitiesMarcus Construction Builds High-Speed Agronomy Center For Key Cooperative
July 7, 2016
Key Cooperative in Grinnell, IA, wanted a state-of-the-art Agronomy Center to better serve its customers. Marcus Construction delivered exactly that. Read More
Heritage Cooperative
Retail FacilitiesKahler Automation Designs State-Of-The-Art Facility For Heritage Cooperative
July 4, 2016
Heritage Cooperative in Marysville, OH, needed an efficient liquid, dry and grain facility to serve the many needs of their Read More
The Andersons Waterloo
ManagementFirst Indiana Facility Certified Under 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program
June 27, 2016
The 4R Nutrient Stewardship Certification Program has announced that The Andersons, Inc.’s Waterloo, IN, facility has been added to its Read More
Food IT
Industry NewsCalifornia Event Will Mix Ag And Tech Professionals To Explore IT Solutions
June 20, 2016
Silicon Valley is hot on agriculture, and an upcoming event in California will bring together the food and tech industries Read More
Monsanto Luling Plant
Eric SfiligojWhat’s Next For Monsanto?
May 31, 2016
For the folks at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, MO, it has been an eventful few weeks. Back on May Read More
Latest News
MAGIE 2015 Overview
Eric SfiligojThe Read From MAGIE
August 29, 2016
As I write this column, I’ve just returned from the annual Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL. Being Read More
EquipmentAGCO Opens Nominations For 11th Annual Operator Of The …
August 29, 2016
AGCO Corp. is now accepting nominations for 2016 Operator of the Year, which recognizes hard-working applicators across the country. These Read More
CHS St. Paul, MN fertilizer terminal
CropLife 100CHS Completes $10 Million Renovation Of St. Paul Agrono…
August 29, 2016
CHS Inc., North America’s leading farmer-owned cooperative and a global energy, grains and foods company, has completed a $10 million Read More
2016 ShowStopper | Case IH Patriot 4440 Sprayer
Equipment5 Show-stopping Products On Display At 2016 MAGIE
August 26, 2016
For 10 years now, visitors to the yearly Midwest AG Industries Exposition (MAGIE) show have been tasked with voting for Read More
Crop InputsDuPont Pioneer: Corn Belt P and K Levels Lagging
August 24, 2016
A new DuPont Pioneer study conducted across 12 Corn Belt states demonstrates that growers may be leaving profit potential in Read More
Monsanto sign
Crop InputsCould a Monsanto-Bayer Union Be 2 Weeks from Fruition?
August 24, 2016
Via STLToday.com (The St. Louis Post-Dispatch): Merger talks between Monsanto Co. and Bayer AG are advancing after a series of Read More
EquipmentCase IH Debuts Nutri-Tiller 955 Strip-Till Applicator
August 24, 2016
With strip-till continuing to expand across new acres, Case IH designed the new Nutri-Tiller 955 strip-till applicator to help producers Read More
EquipmentCase Launches Aim Command FLEX, 25th Anniversary Patrio…
August 24, 2016
Case IH announces new AIM Command FLEX advanced spray technology for greater application accuracy, as well as special 25th Anniversary Read More
ASMARK 2016 Retailers Live! Tour - CPS
CropLife 100CPS Acquires Texas Retail Operation
August 23, 2016
Crop Production Services (CPS) has acquired the assets of Larry’s Chemical and Spray, Inc., for an undisclosed amount in an Read More
PrecisionAg Video Conference
Precision AgVideo: PrecisionAg Vision Conference
August 22, 2016
A Strategic Conference Focused on the Future of Farm Digitization and Precision Agriculture Visit precisionagvision.com and register today! Read More
Young Corn Plants
Industry NewsOABA Welcomes Nicole Wallace As Communication & Adm…
August 22, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association has hired Nicole Wallace as its communication and administrative coordinator. Wallace will help provide comprehensive communication Read More
Syngenta Sign
Crop InputsChemChina, Syngenta Receive Clearance From CFIUS
August 22, 2016
China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina) and Syngenta have announced that the companies have received clearance on their proposed transaction from the Read More
ManagementAg Industry Shows and Rumors
August 18, 2016
Editors Paul Schrimpf and Eric Sfiligoj talk about the upcoming trade show schedule, crop protection merger updates, and content for Read More
MAGIE 2015
EquipmentMAGIE Takes The Pulse Of The Ag Retail Industry
August 18, 2016
Every year, one of the major highlights of my career as an ag journalist is attending the Midwest AG Industries Read More
MAGIE 2015 Overview
EquipmentPride In Professionalism On Display At MAGIE
August 18, 2016
The Illinois Fertilizer & Chemical Association (IFCA) is proud to partner with CropLife IRON and continue the tradition of bringing Read More
SprayersJenner Ag To Debut 25th Anniversary Edition Case IH Pat…
August 18, 2016
Visitors at the 2016 Midwest Ag Industries Exhibition (MAGIE) in Bloomington, IL, will have a unique photo opportunity, as Jenner Read More
Crop InputsEU Glyphosate Controversy Heating Up Yet Again
August 17, 2016
The battle over glyphosate rages on in Europe, creating a lot of question marks over whether the herbicide will continue Read More
Industry NewsNew Partnership Provides Improved Representation At Ohi…
August 16, 2016
The Ohio AgriBusiness Association (OABA) has retained Belinda Jones of Capitol Consulting Group, Inc. (CCG) for government relations work in Read More