wahoo! Senator Jeff Merkley states good news for our organic farmers + we killed the Monsanto Protection Act, good job Jeff!!

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Dear Kara,

I'm excited to share with you two pieces of good news from the bill Congress is debating this week to fund the federal government for 2014.

First: We have officially killed the Monsanto Protection Act. Last year, this insidious policy was born when it was secretly slipped into a spending bill similar to the one we have debated this week. Because of the public outcry from concerned citizens, that special interest boondoggle to override the courts and allow the planting of genetically modified seeds was not renewed when it expired in September. The fact that it was not slipped back into the spending bill for 2014 is proof that Oregonians' voices have made a real difference here in Washington.

Second: We are moving forward in better supporting our small, organic farmers. In recent years, organic farmers have been put at a competitive disadvantage when it comes to crop insurance. The USDA requires organic farmers to pay significantly higher premiums for crop insurance, but when they suffer losses, they are compensated at the same, lower rate as if they had been growing conventional crops. Oregon is among the top five states for organic farming, and I've been fighting to fix this unfairness. This bill provides a big step forward by requiring the USDA to fix this discrepancy in a timely manner and providing the resources needed to research and set fair rates for all organic crops.

Please know that I'll keep fighting to make sure that both our GMO-free and organic farmers and our food consumers have a voice in Washington.

All my best,

Jeff