Senate seeks to reverse law on engineered crops

Sep 27, 2013 by Mary Clare Jalonick
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev., left, follows Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., right, the Democratic Policy Committee chairman, after a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Sept. 26, 2013, after blaming conservative Republicans for holding up a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running. Senate passage of the spending bill—stripped of the "Obamacare" provision—was expected no later than Saturday. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

The Senate is seeking to reverse a controversial law that allows farmers to harvest genetically modified crops even when the crops are caught up in legal battles.

The law was passed as part of a spending bill earlier this year and has become a flashpoint in the national debate over genetically engineered foods.

It would expire at the end of the year, on Monday, and a temporary spending bill passed by the House would extend it. But Senate Democrats' spending bill would let it expire.

The provision applies to crops that are under litigation. It allows the to permit farmers to continue growing engineered crops while appeals are pending, even if courts have ruled that Agriculture Department shouldn't have approved them.

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