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Kaskey writes: "A House of Representatives committee voted to let farmers grow genetically modified crops developed by Monsanto Co. and its competitors during legal appeals of the approval process."

Congress is attempting to overturn court bans on some GM crops. (image: Time Magazine)
Congress is attempting to overturn court bans on some GM crops. (image: Time Magazine)



Congress Poised to Reverse Monsanto Crop Bans by Courts

By Jack Kaskey, Bloomberg

20 June 12

 

House of Representatives committee voted to let farmers grow genetically modified crops developed by Monsanto Co. (MON) and its competitors during legal appeals of the approval process.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture would be required to permit modified crops to be planted and sold into the food supply after the agency’s approvals have been invalidated by a court, under a provision in the fiscal 2013 agriculture spending bill approved by the House Appropriations committee today.

The one-paragraph provision in the the 90-page bill would circumvent legal obstacles that have slowed commercialization of engineered crops, sometimes for years, benefiting Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company. Planting would be permitted until USDA completes any analysis required by a judge.

"A stream of lawsuits" have slowed approvals and created uncertainties for companies developing the modified plants, James C. Greenwood, president of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, whose members include Monsanto and Dupont Co., said in a June 13 letter to Congress. "The regulatory certainty provided by this legislative language would address an immediate threat to the regulatory process."

The bill is similar to the accommodation the USDA made last year in allowing farmers to plant Roundup Ready sugar beets while the agency completed a court-mandated environmental impact statement. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White in San Francisco ruled in 2009 that the USDA erred in approving the crop without undertaking the additional scrutiny.

Providing Assurance

The American Soybean Association, one of nine U.S. agriculture groups supporting the House provision, said the legislation would give farmers assurance they can plant and harvest modified crops during legal challenges.

The Center for Food Safety, which has sued over USDA approvals of biotech crops, called the bill’s language a "Monsanto profit assurance provision" that interferes with judicial oversight of agency decisions and has the potential to disrupt the global grain trade.

The bill would "empower a single corporation and a few of its industry friends to move beyond the control of the U.S. courts, USDA and public review to make their own rules and profit from slippery back door politics," Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the center, said today in a statement.

Opposition Groups

The center joined today with dozens of other watchdog groups and organic associations in opposing the provision in a letter to Congress.

Monsanto supports the provision, along with the American Farm Bureau Federation, Sara Miller, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis-based company, said in an e-mail today.

The USDA’s approval of Roundup Ready alfalfa was overturned in 2007 by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco, who banned further plantings pending the completion of a more thorough environmental impact statement. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned the planting ban in June 2010, and the USDA re- approved the crop in January 2011 after completing the court- ordered study.

The appropriations bill now goes to the full House for consideration.

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+74 # pernsey 2012-06-20 13:56
DAMN!!!
 
 
+24 # Barbara K 2012-06-21 05:40
pernsey: I'm with you. I hope the Dems in the Senate will stop this. Contact your Dem Senators and tell them to stop this thing. It won't do any good to contact the Rs. Don't vote Republican for anything.
 
 
+5 # Barbara K 2012-06-22 07:25
This is no surprise. Monsanto's wife is a U.S. Congresswoman in the H of R. She has lots of time to lobby from within.
 
 
+4 # Barbara K 2012-06-22 11:32
Hopefully they will see some of the lawsuits taking place against Monsanto, like from Brazil, etc. Monsanto is losing lots of money now, so maybe the Rs will think better of it, as they won't get such a big payoff.
 
 
+1 # Gevurah 2012-06-23 14:05
First I heard that a corporation can have a wife. Care to share the name of the Member of Congress in question?
 
 
+61 # ER444 2012-06-20 14:07
God help us all !!!
 
 
+33 # Stephanie Remington 2012-06-21 05:08
I'd settle for the writer of the article helping us all by informing us WHICH committee voted to undercut the judiciary (and the rest of us) and WHICH members of that committee voted yes on it.

This is what I object to about modern "journalism." The writers most often give you just enough information to piss you off and not enough to do anything about it.
 
 
+6 # tedrey 2012-06-21 09:05
As mentioned in the second paragraph, it was the Appropriations Committee. It took more digging to discover that it was on a voice vote, so it's no use asking who voted for it. Anyway, no Republican nor Democratic Representative called for a show of hands, as they all had a right to do. Now it goes to the full House.
 
 
+9 # paulrevere 2012-06-21 10:09
as far as I'm concerned...DEM OCRATS are sell outs.

over and over and over and over and over...
 
 
+11 # Stephanie Remington 2012-06-21 10:18
Thanks. I was reading too fast and missed that.

What I was getting at was that this article didn't give enough information for anyone who chose to take some sort of action without a lot of digging.

In my, roughly, 15 minute conversation with Barbara Lee's office (one of the better reps in congress), her aide was very accommodating, but had no idea how Ms. Lee – or anyone else – voted, which provision the article referred to, or what tactics are available to minority members to stop bad legislation from passing out of committee.

Anyone who’s ever contacted his/her representative in congress to ask for a vote a certain way knows that the first thing their aides ask is the number of the bill, amendment, or provision in question. Without that information, even if they’re trying to be helpful there’s not much they can do. The amount of bad stuff happening is vastly greater than the time I have to research every important issue.
 
 
+5 # jwb110 2012-06-21 11:09
Quoting Stephanie Remington:
Thanks. I was reading too fast and missed that.

What I was getting at was that this article didn't give enough information for anyone who chose to take some sort of action without a lot of digging.

In my, roughly, 15 minute conversation with Barbara Lee's office (one of the better reps in congress), her aide was very accommodating, but had no idea how Ms. Lee – or anyone else – voted, which provision the article referred to, or what tactics are available to minority members to stop bad legislation from passing out of committee.

Anyone who’s ever contacted his/her representative in congress to ask for a vote a certain way knows that the first thing their aides ask is the number of the bill, amendment, or provision in question. Without that information, even if they’re trying to be helpful there’s not much they can do. The amount of bad stuff happening is vastly greater than the time I have to research every important issue.


There is still a Freedom of Information Act. Demand to know how the person voted.
 
 
+82 # Michael_K 2012-06-20 15:35
Obviously, we need a Bill to allow Congress members to use their brains (assuming they have any), to counter-act the bribes they receive. What good is the bribe, if you'll be poisoned, or your children will be poisoned before they can fully enjoy the ill-gotten gains?
 
 
+6 # Alex K. 2012-06-21 06:00
Michael_K, bravo, you've hit upon a contradiction that could be used to mitigate this circumstance - obviously, these people cannot think straight (mentally unfit, insane) and therefore are not fit to serve... aren't they 'public servants'?.. if only there were 'honest' attorneys to run with this idea...
 
 
0 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:37
Alex K.: 'honest' 'attorneys' Thats an oxymoron, where do you find such an animal?
 
 
+17 # Stephanie Remington 2012-06-21 09:19
Working for the ACLU and CCR.
 
 
+2 # John Locke 2012-06-21 09:46
Stephanie Remington: Yes forgot about them!

I guess there are exceptions to any rule
 
 
+5 # paulrevere 2012-06-21 10:11
They participate in the gluttony of gmo foods, fluoride, aspertame and plastic water bottles...lol, they deserve all the lumps, lesions and disorders that come their way...i.e. their lack of thinking abilities at the top of the list.
 
 
+101 # Vermont Grandma 2012-06-20 16:07
Great way to assure more imports from Italy and other European countries who don't use GMO grain or other ingredients in their pasta. Go, Congress! Another blow to the US economy (and American's health) courtesy of our conscienceless members of Congress.
 
 
+82 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-20 17:21
This would cause irreversible harm (like the reasoning SCOTUS used to appoint Bush). Once the GM stuff is out there there would be no getting rid of all of it: the genetic material contaminates other farms and to the wild.
 
 
+17 # Todd Williams 2012-06-21 10:45
Yes, what about the organic farmer who has fields adjacent to a GMO crop? I guess he's fucked. This really, really sucks. I'm an organic farmer and I'm pissed off! I think it's about time for people of like minds to take some real action to stop Monsanto and I'm not just talking about voting and lobbying.
 
 
+51 # MEBrowning 2012-06-20 21:48
This Republican-led House acts as though it has a mandate to *harm* Americans. They are a despicable lot, and they should be tarred, feathered and run out of Washington on a rail. And they can take those damned Supreme Court "activist judges" with them.
 
 
+33 # rsnfan 2012-06-20 21:54
My heart just sank when I read this. What are we to do?
I know people who are sick unless they eat GMO free food.
Our government is one sick body of people.
 
 
+21 # BobHG 2012-06-20 22:27
The Empire fights back. Of course, profit is far more important to the corporatocracy than the well-being of the planet, or its inhabitants. As GMOs are so wonderful, let's hope that they are labelled so that we can seek them out.
 
 
+21 # seakat 2012-06-20 22:33
It would be kinder if they just killed us outright instead of slow death by poisoning.
 
 
+23 # Howard T. Lewis III 2012-06-20 22:53
Just like the prancing, mewling circus poodles that jump up to collect a treat as they dance around the stage, our congress goes for the treat without considering anything else. Their parents were slobs, and this committee has earned the right to lengthy prison terms.
 
 
+36 # MERG 2012-06-20 23:14
CRIMINAL!!! HOW MUCH DID MANSANTO PAY THE H OF R????
 
 
+10 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:39
MERG: it doesn't need to be that much, these characters will do almost anything for as little as $1,000.00
 
 
+27 # WestWinds 2012-06-20 23:16
Same old same old; these corporations being allowed to get away with anything because the ends (their profits) justify their means (playing Russian roulette with the health and well being of our bodies.) I hope I live long enough to see the Monsanto seed library go up in flames and burn to the ground.
 
 
+12 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:40
I would rather see all their executives and directors imprisoned for the rest of their lives!
 
 
+19 # cordleycoit 2012-06-20 23:23
You all can see and it is public who the people attacking the health of all Americans and the rest of the world are. They think these rat like possessions of the bio Chemical cartels, they can hide in a pack. Check out where and how much they've been paid off to sell the health of the world to a bunch odd screw ball chemists and mad greedy men and women. The Republican Party is a bunch of disease carrying rats, corrupt to the core. And no one in position of political power R or D will make a stand.
 
 
+12 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:43
cordleycoit: You are blaming Republicans, but Obama has Monsanto involved in his administration and Just opened the door for this criminal syndicate to get into Africa. So lets place the blame where it belongs on both sides of the isle and the White House.

Some times like now, I feel that those in government aren't even human, I just can't imagine a human being could do the things to their own people that these in government do!
 
 
0 # paulrevere 2012-06-21 10:17
How many searing FACTS about the o does it take to show his true colors to the left?

I read RSN regularly, and the bungee cord reflexes of so many of the well intensioned continually fulfill RAHMTHEEVILS 'f' 'em brush off.

over and over and over and over and over...
 
 
-2 # Michael_K 2012-06-21 11:40
All it means is that Obama doesn't give a rat's ass about his kids, or he mistakenly believes that he can buy them a safe haven in Paraguay.
 
 
+25 # Street Level 2012-06-20 23:38
So Congress cuts Billions out of the Food Stamp program and re-directs the money to the farmers...so now they can by GE seeds?

Unleash Pandora's box on the Nation.

Publish the names of the greedy scum and make sure they get their "fair share". Light up the phones of Congress, clog their in boxes, boycott all brands that contain GMO's in any of their products.
Find pro GMO blog sites and troll them just like they troll us.
Join your local Organic group and local Move to Amend. Join social media to spread and support the word. You can do all of this from the comfort of your home.
For the rest of us, it's time to hit the streets. They have made their position clear. "Control the food supply and you control the people".
 
 
+11 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:45
Street Level: a fitting punishment for all who are behind this, force them to eat GMO products and nothing else and see how long they live!
 
 
+33 # dyannne 2012-06-20 23:50
Obama better veto this one!!!!!!!!
 
 
+5 # Alex K. 2012-06-21 06:40
Or what?... Woke up? Welcome to the club...
 
 
+5 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:45
Why would he, he is close with Monsanto!
 
 
+26 # Vardoz 2012-06-20 23:57
Bastards! We need to vote them out!
 
 
+4 # Todd Williams 2012-06-21 10:48
No, voting is a waste of time. We need a fucking revolution in the steets!!!!
 
 
+29 # KrazyFromPolitics 2012-06-21 00:47
Further proof that Congress is bought. They all need to be voted out of office. Monsanto is an enemy of humanity.
 
 
+7 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:49
KrazyFromPoliti cs: Actually, the real enemy of Mankind is politicians, Monsanto would not exist if it weren't for corrupt polioticians
 
 
+5 # JessJuan-d-Ring 2012-06-21 10:58
Actually, the real enemy of Mankind (as well as of a significant part of the biota of the rest of the planet) is the coupling of mass-marketing with a sufficiently shallow, intellectually (and otherwise) lazy, easily manipulated public. That's what allows themselves-shal low (if not even evil) politicians to get elected to then further still the interests and power of those who've nearly completed their capture of all the major institutions from academia (increasingly dependent upon corporate funding) to broadcast media to governments... at least down to the state level...and further still in many cases.
 
 
+17 # The Duce 2012-06-21 01:25
I was in 7th or 8th grade when I first discovered the greed of the political class. In our civics class we learned that the Councilmen of our city (Philadelphia,P A) were each paid an annual salary of $9000. each year. At the time(1950), that was a good annual income for the middle class. No Problem! Then we learned they were required to meet only ONCE each month. It bothered me then, it bothers me today. The only difference today is the decimal point placement. The greed is incredible.
 
 
+29 # yoyoruby 2012-06-21 03:46
This is a terrible thing that Congress is doing. Monsanto deliberately designs crops to destroy our health and shorten our life. You know the food is inedible when the insects and the very rich won't eat it.
 
 
+8 # paulrevere 2012-06-21 10:21
Take a loaf of white bread, or a tomato and let it sit on the window sill.

Then take organic whole wheat bread and an organic tomato and do the same.

You will be TRULY amazed.
 
 
+6 # tedrey 2012-06-21 04:23
You may notice that this provision is a statement that certain people do not have to obey a standing law.

Now do we have to come up with a law that it is necessary to obey the law?
 
 
+3 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:50
tedrey: Who would pass it?
 
 
+7 # Douglas Jack 2012-06-21 04:56
Monsanto is only one symptom of our ignorance. 3-dimensional 'Indigenous' (Latin = 'self-generatin g') Polyculture Orchards are 100 times (10,000%) more productive than 2-D 'agriculture' (L 'ager' = 'field'). https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/design/1-indigenous-welcome-orchard-food-production-efficiencies

There's really only one sovereignty on Turtle Island. It is First Nation. If we want to find our way back to health, prosperity and abundance, then honour the 35,000 years of heritage, customs, laws & culture here as we are obliged as human beings. We once fled ecological/econ omic devastation of our own Celtic polyculture orchard in Europe. https://sites.google.com/site/indigenecommunity/e-history/3-celtic-europe

Having lost our traditional ways we brought our ignorance here with perversions to humanity's Great Law & custom. We brought dishonourable aggression, genocide and destruction against Anishnabe & Hotinonshonni people and place. www.indigenecommunity.info
 
 
+7 # bingers 2012-06-21 05:33
They need to start wearing sponsor patches!
 
 
+10 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:53
bingers: Absolutely, and that gave me an idea...we set up a web site and put each legislator's photo with a list of their sponsors under their name.
 
 
+3 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-21 10:11
Look at http://www.opensecrets.org/
 
 
+4 # sapereaudeprime 2012-06-21 05:50
Once again Congress shows its ability to share a liplock on Mammon's prepuce. These Republicans would shame the average hooker into doubling her efforts.
 
 
+7 # Alex K. 2012-06-21 06:37
Woke up? And, by the way, this did not start yesterday... Insane gov-ment for insane people, to keep them insane... and it is not unique to the united states... it is a fight against humanity as a whole...
Please, pay attention to these quotes, and put 2 and 2 together, if you can:
"Who controls the food supply controls the people." --Henry Kissinger,
and
"Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is FDA's job."
Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications back in 1998
 
 
+6 # John Locke 2012-06-21 08:58
Alex K: Obama took care of that In 2009, President Obama appointed Michael Taylor as a senior adviser for the FDA. Taylor had formerly served as a vice president for Monsanto, and You think Obama will help? excuse me I can't stop laughing!
 
 
+5 # tedrey 2012-06-21 09:11
Quoting Alex K.:
"Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is FDA's job."
Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications back in 1998

And obviously, in order to "sell as much as possible" it is necessary for Monsanto to make sure that FDA cannot do its job. Which they are doing.
 
 
+8 # whatwehavehere. . 2012-06-21 07:08
I fear the long term results of genetically altered products that have undergone limited testing. Greed, big business has succeeded in taking over, safety hanged! With help from the Supreme Court ensuring THE PEOPLE'S interests are trampled. FDA was a laugh long ago. No teeth and a rubber stamp when it comes to regulating large corporations for genetically altered products along with medical devices, etc. Our representatives caved to fill campaign chests long ago. Are we seeing the beginning of the decline of the U.S. as far as individual rights are concerned in favor of corporate power?(plutocra cy)With money to buy cooperation, the GOP is right in line with big business and perhaps Democrats are not far behind, really! When lower court rulings are ignored by the high court, who seems to have sold out to Corporations and Wall Street, we have no where left to go. Is Civil disobedience such as OCCUPY all that is left? If so, they (WE) must gain in numbers and strength.
 
 
+5 # tedrey 2012-06-21 09:19
Moreover, in this case not (only) the high court, but members of congress are trying to negate an already issued court ruling which is based on currently standing law. This would be a terrible precedent, highly destructive of the seperation of powers.
 
 
+6 # T4D 2012-06-21 08:21
Stay cool people; this is just more election year posturing by the Republican House. I confidentially expect that the majority of these Republicans couldn't give a hoot in Hell for who could plant what where or when. However, voting them out November 6 is the proper action.
 
 
+1 # Todd Williams 2012-06-21 10:52
No. I'm damn sick and tired of "staying cool" and being polite and civil. The time as come for real action. No more bullshit! This is our very existance as humans at stake.
 
 
+5 # reiverpacific 2012-06-21 09:19
Just another example of how Monsanto is lawyer-and-lobb yist driven corporate behemoth with seemingly bottomless resources and no regard for whom or what it despoils.
Of course our current non-representat ives and congress-hybrid -critters are despoiled already and are easy pickin's for these corporate bullies. My Architect self wonders what the standard dimensions of a "Special-purpos e" D.C. office back door is?
I think that shame is a stranger to the halls of power!
 
 
+5 # troimille 2012-06-21 09:32
I say that the real enemy is OURSELVES for meekly accepting tyranny. There is no 'lesser' of evils, so stop choosing between despicable and abominable. Once the Monsanto's and their puppets are let loose, the world is over!
 
 
+7 # billeeboy 2012-06-21 09:34
I guess we have to wait for the Monsanto induced equivalent of the thalidomide tragedy before people wake up to GMO dangers. How sad............ .Meanwhile there is a need to publish the names of those who vote for regressive measures, along with the amount received in campaign contributions from the company that benefited from measure in question.
 
 
+8 # KittatinyHawk 2012-06-21 10:16
Time they and their family's sit down and eat these seeds, perhaps wash down with some good ol Fracking Water bottled by every Red State Governor.

Buy Organic...Farme rs will learn. Keep your ethanol cars. I wonder what the fumes will do to us and those in plants making?

Vote them out...all of them
 
 
+2 # mjc 2012-06-21 11:05
Just one more reason NOT to vote Republican for any national office. Seems Monsanto has shrewdly organized their big politicos to support their requests for special favors...at the expense of the American public. What in hell will our present world look like given a few decades? Our children and grandchildren will pay whatever the price is for our failure to rein big corporations in.
 
 
+2 # bracero 2012-06-21 11:32
Under what authority given it in the US
Constitution does Congress have the right to interfere in a judicial process currently underway? There is no such power even remotely given it in the US Constitution. Congress is clearly out of control and must be voted out of office. This congress clearly does not understand the concept of "Separation of Powers."
 
 
+1 # ATN 2012-06-21 12:44
First thing First !!!. The excutives of Monsanto and their children must eat only the gmo food products, if they eat anything else, I suggest they all dump in with the pigs, but they might be thrown back, they are contaminate with gmo.
 
 
+2 # Diane 2012-06-21 13:11
I believe the new rallying cry for the Republican leadership and a big chunk of its party should be: PRO-DOLLAR; ANTI-HUMAN

After all, how can the preservation of life and a planet measure up to Monsanto's profits??
 
 
+2 # Howard T. Lewis III 2012-06-21 14:29
Democrat/republ ican, left/right, liberal/conserv ative, all are Hegelian dialectics contrived by the Rockefeller people and the Council on Foreign Relations through the news media with The City of London owned Associated press and Reuters to dominate the nature of debate. The actual issue and objectives to be controlled are bypassed by those seeking a favorable solution to the conceived problem. The actual problem occurs in the shadows and carries on its covert function while Dem/Rep, l/r, conservative/li beral does all the arguing. For example, Osama bin Laden/US Military similarly was a Hegelian dialectic contrived to permit oil and mineral interests to use the U.S. military to inflict genocide and steal natural resources in Afghanistan and Iraq. It worked. Halliburton, Carlyle, and other treasonous corporate interests have been wrong in their manslaughter of American soldiers and middle eastern civilians who all tend to be very nice people. The U.S. is being destroyed by the numerous Hegelians and other covert attacks ignored by the prancing, mewling congress and our CIC. The CFRtv provides the puppet show for diversion.
 
 
+2 # midwestgirl 2012-06-21 16:45
I guess poisening the general populace and destroying the richest agricultural producer in the world is something Congress can actually agree on. Maybe they think it will bring down unemployment.
 
 
+1 # bluepilgrim 2012-06-21 18:25
http://tv.globalresearch.ca/2012/06/gmo-foods-alter-organ-function-and-pose-threat-humans
GMO Foods Alter Organ Function and Pose Threat to Humans
by grtv

The Health Ranger, Mike Adams, explains how studies in cell research have demonstrated the mechanism by which micro RNA from genetically engineered foods may alter organ function in humans.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=T-IJikX1144

----

http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/abs/cr2011158a.html

[ABSTRACT}

Original Article
Cell Research (2012) 22:107–126. doi:10.1038/cr. 2011.158; published online 20 September 2011

There is a Corrigendum (1 December 2011) associated with this article.

[...]
--------------

http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/full/cr2011158a.html
Full text

---------

http://www.nature.com/cr/journal/v22/n1/pdf/cr2011158a.pdf
PDF
 
 
+2 # JanetW 2012-06-21 18:45
Grow your own food, in containers in window sills, save your seeds, do seed exchanges, buy from local farmers even if they aren't certified og (which can be a spendy process). We can put a big dent in their profits by just shopping in local alternative health food stores and only buying og when we step into a big box store (but better to avoid them if at all possible). Farmer's markets are another great resource. Just stay away from big supermarkets altogether.
 
 
+1 # tigerlille 2012-06-23 01:22
Janet, your suggestions all make sense, but eating organic and shopping at farmers markets is extremely expensive. The only economically viable suggestion you have made is to grow your own food, but even that simple activity requires health and time. The alternative food movement is often a function of class privilege, sad to say.
 
 
0 # Larry2 2012-06-22 01:47
Bet if one check into this decision much closer one will find that every Congressperson involved here is receiving funds from Monsanto. Congress-people always want you to vote for them, yet they always ignore the voter in favor of the financial backer, whenever a crucial decision is required. My position is NEVER RE-ELECT ANYONE!
 
 
+1 # Nell H 2012-06-22 10:40
Congress once again displays their collective knowledge of science. Watch for an amendment instructing the earth to be flat.
 

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