- (Photo: Reuters/John Sommers II)
Protesters have been camped out in front of the White House since Tuesday after news broke that a controversial amendment made its way undetected into the newly signed continuing resolution bill. The bill will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Protesters have alleged that the amendment, referred to as the "Monsanto Protection Act," was put into the continuing resolution without other members of Congress being aware of its inclusion, and that the decision to add the amendment was made in a back room deal and not on the floor of the House.
The amendment basically gives the food giant immunity from possible prosecution resulting from the use of their genetically modified food products and genetically engineered seeds, even if the federal government finds the seeds to be hazardous to the public's health.
"In this hidden backroom deal, Sen. Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto," Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement.
"This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Sen. Mikulski or the Democrat Majority in the Senate," he added.
The alleged shady dealings have led to the creation of petitions calling for the removal of the amendment from the recently signed legislation. Food Democracy Now, a food safety advocacy group, has amassed over 250,000 signatures for their petition, which urges the president to take executive action to remove the controversial amendment.
Food and consumer safety advocates have stated that there has not been enough research concerning genetically modified and engineered food products to adequately assure the American population that consuming such items are safe or free from unnecessary harm.
Additionally, opponents are upset because the inclusion of the amendment barring future possible prosecution circumvents the judicial review process placing the food company outside the reach of our nation's highest court.