President Barack Obama signed a spending bill, HR 933, into law on Tuesday that includes language that has food and consumer advocates and organic farmers up in arms over their contention that the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” is a giveaway to corporations that was passed under the cover of darkness.
- Effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) matter what health issues may arise to the use of GMOs in the future. The advent of genetically modified seeds — which been driven mainly by Monsanto – has become a huge cash cow, at the expense of the American consumer. There has not been any serious studies into the potential health risks of GMOs and now, even if those studies are completed and end up revealing severe adverse health effects, the courts will have no legal status to stop the spread of the seeds or the crops they bear.
- In just another example of big money ruling Congress, Monsanto worked in conjunction with Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, to actually help write the provision that allows them to continue selling genetically engineered seeds.
- As is to often typical of bills passed in Congress, many members of Congress, who didn’t take the time to read the bill were unaware that the “Monsanto Protection Act” even existed within the bill they were voting on. Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement “In this hidden backroom deal, Sen. [Barbara] Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto. This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Mikulski or the Democrat Majority in the Senate.”
- Obama did nothing to stop it, even though Food Democracy Now protesters demonstrated against the bill, protesting in front of the White House or the fact that the White House had received a petition of more than 250,000 signatures opposing the provision.
- It sets a terrible precedent. While the funding is good only for six months until the government finds another way to fund its operation, the message it sends is that corporations can get around consumer safety protections if they can buy enough Congressman or support enough Democratic and Rino campaigns. Furthermore, it sets a precedent suggesting that court challenges are a privilege, not a right.
It is time consumers send a message to D.C. We’re tired of being ignored – You voted against consumers – we’re going to make certain you don’t get re-elected!