The so-called Monsanto Protection Act is set to expire, and will not be included in a bill designed to avert a government shutdown, according to a statement Tuesday from the press office of Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.).
House Republicans earlier this month released legislation that would include an extension of the Monsanto measure in their continuing resolution. The measure shields sellers of genetically modified seeds from lawsuits, even if the resulting crops cause harm.
Merkley has opposed the measure since it quietly passed in March, when it was attached to another spending resolution. Merkley led an online petition to oppose the extension, and unsuccessfully offered an amendment to the farm bill intended to kill what opponents have dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act. Monsanto is the world's largest seed company.
Merkley worked with legislative leaders to ensure the Farmer Assurance Provision rider would expire before it could be extended. In a statement Tuesday evening, the senator applauded those who helped him to avert the extension:
This is a victory for all those who think special interests shouldn’t get special deals. 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.
The rider is set to expire at the end of the month.