Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.
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This week, President Obama signed a spending bill to keep the government running, but buried deep within the pages of that bill is a controversial piece of legislation that would keep the federal government from banning the sale of genetically modified food.
Food safety groups are furious and started picketing in front of the White House this week. Their concern is that the legislation allows big biotech companies that produce genetically engineered crops to bend rules – basically it builds in a stalling tactic that if one of their crops is found to be unsafe, they can still sell it while it's getting examined.
At least one senator knew this was going into the bill ahead of time, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Montana. Tester is an organic farmer, so this is personally important to him. He went to democratic leadership and wanted it out of the spending bill, but those senators said their hands were tied, and that in order to pass a big piece of legislation through the House, they couldn't change what they had been working with since last summer.
CNN reached out to a number of aides at the White House and in Republican leadership in Congress, most of them had no idea what we were even asking about.
The legislation was put together by Rep. Jack Kingston, R-Georgia, and some of the other supporters of the provision say it does very little, and doesn't prevent the U.S. Department of Agriculture from pulling products off the market if they need to.
But agriculture secretary Tom Vilsack asked his general council to investigate anyway to see if they can even enforce it.
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