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Stabenow promises not to extend Monsanto law

Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., promised today that the farm bill will not include a provision that would allow the continued sale of genetically modified seed if a court has ruled that it has not been properly tested for its impact on other farmers’ crops or the environment.

Stabenow made the promise in a colloquy with Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., who noted that he has introduced a farm bill amendment that would repeal a provision in the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture appropriations bill that allows the sale of genetically modified seed even if a court case is pending.

Merkley noted that there have been objections to his amendment, but that his constituents are concerned about the recent discovery of genetically modified wheat, which has not been approved for commercialization, in an Oregon field.

That provision expires September 30, and Stabenow pledged that she would not allow it to be revived as an amendment to the farm bill, particularly as part of the conference report. “It would be inappropriate for the language to be adopted,” Stabenow said.