Newest nightmare of the Federal Register: Privatized Environmental Impact Statements! USDA privatized coverup private project pipeline for dangerous GMO freak organisms
Awesome bureaucratic frankenstein nightmare coverups down this fabulous path. Thank you USDA, your great work on GMOs so far – which involves a tiny fraction of the caution found in Europe for example –
Anyway there is now a bypass in the works. The Federal Register is the Washington DC version of "YOU HAVE FORMALLY BEEN WARNED AMERICA" about all the horrible, obscure administrative creations and terrible initiatives to ruin existing regulations.
You usually get like 90 days to complain and then they come and kill your dog - or in this case PRIVATIZE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS.
It all goes to contractors now Bro. Have fun with your delish and approved transgenic cornFishVirus thing. This new loophole project was put out April 7th. This is why executive administrative rule-making is so dangerous: it happens even more in the dark than legislation – which is at least a public process.
Via Cryptogon: USDA Moves to Let Monsanto Perform Its Own Environmental Impact Studies on GMOs // Grist // Tom Philpott:USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs | Grist
Last August, Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued a stinging rebuke to the USDA for its process on approving new genetically modified seeds. He ruled that the agency's practice of "deregulating" novel seed varieties without first performing an environmental impact study violated the National Environmental Policy Act.
The target of Judge White's ire was the USDA's 2005 approval of Monsanto's Roundup Ready sugar beets, engineered to withstand doses of the company's own herbicide. White's ruling effectively revoked the approval of Monsanto's novel beet seeds pending an environmental impact study, and cast doubt upon the USDA's notoriously industry-friendly way of regulating GM seeds.
.....How has the Obama USDA responded to Judge White's rebuke? By repeatedly defying it, most recently in February, when the agency moved to allow farmers to plant the engineered seeds even though the impact study has yet to be completed. Its rationale for violating the court order will raise an eyebrow of anyone who read Gary Taubes' recent New York Times Magazine piece teasing out the health hazards of the American sweet tooth: the USDA feared that the GMO sugar beet ban would cause sweetener prices to rise. Thus the USDA places the food industry's right to cheap sweetener for its junk food over the dictates of a federal court.
In early April, the USDA made what I'm reading as a second response to Judge White, this one even more craven. To satisfy the legal system's pesky demand for environmental impact studies of novel GMO crops, the USDA has settled upon a brilliant solution: let the GMO industry conduct its own environmental impact studies, or pay other researchers to. The USDA announced the program in the Federal Register for April 7, 2011 [PDF].
The biotech/agrichemical industry has applauded the new plan. Karen Batra of the Biotechnology Industry Organization told the Oregon-based ag journal Capital Press that the program will likely speed up the registration process for GMO crops and make the USDA's approach less vulnerable to legal challenges like the rebuke from Judge White. Capital Press summed up Batra's assessment of the plan like this: "The pilot program will not only help move crops through the process more quickly, but the added resources will also help the documents hold up in court."
Soooo disgusting. This is happening in Minnesota by the way... Disgusting Roundup Sugarbeets, subsidized heavily. YUK!
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