Sometimes I can’t help but wonder; why do we even bother talking about GMO’s, organize events like the Right to Know month, report on Monsanto’s setbacks in other countries, or promote efforts here to require the labeling of GMO’s? When it’s obvious that the opposing interests don’t operate by the same set of rules as we do… they simply make up new rules as they go along!
Consider for example the innocently sounding “Farmers Assurance Provision,” Section 735 of H.R. 933; AKA the “Monsanto Protection Act,” which was quietly inserted into a spending bill that Congress just passed. Food Democracy Now characterizes the new legislative rider as:
…a major blow against America’s constitution, citizens, farmers and the environment that undermines our basic democratic rights in favor of continued corporate welfare and failed oversight of GMO crops.
Even if their new GMO crops are ultimately proven to be harmful to human health or the environment, Section 735 allows them to be planted the minute the USDA approves them!
According to legal experts, this provision would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review and is a dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards needed to protect America’s farmers, citizens and the environment from the wanton approval of Monsanto’s new GMO crops.
In reading the provision it appears the legislation will permit approved GMO crops to be maintained regardless if they are subsequently found to be hazardous, and that the federal court system would then be powerless to step in and enforce any type of legal restrictions. It’s seems ridiculous that anyone would draft such legislation that doesn’t have the citizen’s interests or well-being in mind!
It’s obvious that there is public concern over the safety of GMO’s in the food supply, and it is also clear that the biotech industry’s goal is to insure that they are free to develop and implement their products no matter what. The Monsanto Protection Act and the way that it has been introduced and passed is a perfect example of what we are up against in the battle to hold the GMO industry accountable, and why it is so difficult to trust the parties involved.
Here are a few links if you would like to read more about what is going on with this new provision:
- H.R. 933 Appropriation Bill (Section 735 begins on page 80)
- Secretive US Amendment Would Weaken Biotech Oversight
- Yet Again Agribiz Sneaks Friendly Riders into Unrelated Bill
- Act Would Keep GMO Crops in the Ground During Legal Battles
I’m still trying to sort through this issue, but sometimes it really does feel like “resistance is futile” in the face of this mad dash to change the basic make-up of the foods that we eat. I guess we can yield to the powers that exist, or we can continue to speak out to anyone who can hear and understand the significance… maybe even the people who are making these particular rules will listen if we speak up quickly: Food Democracy Now message to Congress, Senate, and the President.
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