The actual bill signed into law is H.R. 933 which has been referred to as a “Farmer Assurance Provision.” You see, inside of the bill are great things for farmers that are “farmer friendly.” The problem is that hiding deep in the FY2013 Agriculture Appropriations bills is (Section 733 / Section 735) which is around 78 pages into the bill. The hidden bomb in this bill is being nicknamed the, “Monsanto Protection Act” because it gives GMOs (genetically modified organisms) and GE seeds (Genetically Engineered Seeds) a free pass to be produced, planted and put on your dinner plate.
One thing we should get straight however, is that Monsanto is not the only beneficiary to this bill opening up the floodgates to genetically modified crops and seeds being used in the US food system. Other companies that will benefit from the “Monsanto Protection Act” are companies like DuPont, Dow Chemical and other chemical and biotech food research corporations. The better way to look at it is another nickname for this hidden part of the Farmers Bill that was passed, “biotech rider.” The biotech rider name is given because inside of all these great things for farmers, was very powerful language that some are saying is destroying the U.S. Constitution.
It was on March 26th, 2013 that President Obama officially signed into law the H.R. 933 “Monsanto Protection Act” Bill. There were a few news organizations that stood up for the people to bring attention to the 250,000 people that signed a petition to get President Obama to veto the bill. It was Food Democracy Now that lead the charge to get people to “Stop the Monsanto Protection Act.” The main charge by the website says:
“In the past, legal advocates have successfully won in court the right to halt the sale and planting of unapproved GMO crops while the approval of those crops is under review by a federal judge. This dangerous new House provision, which we’re calling the Monsanto Protection Act, would strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, consumers and the environment.”
The petition was quick and easy to sign, but it didn’t seem to have an effect on President Obama’s decision to take his pen and sign the bill into law. There is a new plan by the Food Democracy Now website that asks consumers to now demand President Obama to issue an executive order to label GMOs when you’re buying them in the grocery store. The new demand also allows consumers to sign the petition and send on the message and says:
“Today we’re calling on President Obama to issue an executive order to call for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Not only is GMO labeling a reasonable and common sense solution to the continued controversy that corporations like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical have created by subverting our basic democratic rights, but it is a basic right that citizens in 62 other countries around the world already enjoy, including Europe, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.”
The new petition to label GMOs is here.
If you’re wondering why the Monsanto Protection Act being signed into law as a biotech rider on something that was meant for good is such a big deal, IB Times has done a great job of pointing out some facts. IB Times titles it as the “5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision.” The piece is well done and you should read it to understand how much is on the line. To sum it up, the first item states that Courts will not be able to rule by law or stop the sale of genetically engineered seeds or GMOs. Even if these genetically engineered food items cause terrible problems to your health, it will still be legal to plant them and put them on your dinner table. The second item points out that Roy Blunt (Rep. MO) (@RoyBlunt) worked with Monsanto to create the additions in the bill to allow companies like Monsanto to keep selling seeds if they’re harmful. To find out more points in the piece, take time to read it carefully.
One thing we know, is that once the cat is out of the bag, the seeds are spread everywhere in America. Most people believe that genetically engineered seeds are sterile, but it’s not true. In an NPR article in October of 2012 they state, “No, they’ll germinate and grow just like any other plant. This idea presumably has its roots in a real genetic modification (dubbed the Terminator Gene by anti-biotech activists) that can make a plant produce sterile seeds. Monsanto owns the patent on this technique, but has promised not to use it.” Another big problem is that once GE and GMOs are released into farm fields they can contaminate all other fields around them from the wind blowing, insects spreading the pollen and the natural fertilization process in plants. One farmer in Canada named Percy Schmeiser was sued when his canola was contaminated with Monsanto Roundup-tolerant canola. Mr. Schmeiser’s story was told in a documentary called, “David vs Monsanto”, we’ll include the trailer below. The lawsuit was complicated but it came down to the Schmeiser farm being destroyed through lawyer fees.
The implications of this bill have removed consumer rights to sue if they’re harmed by problems associated with GMOs. A quick article on msnNOW makes a frighteningly funny statement by saying, “If frankencorn makes you sick you won’t be able to sue.” Besides being able to sue for your health, no one will be able to stop the sale of these genetically engineered seeds.
It remains to be seen how upset consumers will continue to get as they learn their food supply has been hijacked by their own Congressman. Food Democracy Now seems to hope that an executive order by President Obama could still slow things down by labeling GMO foods, what do you think?
Obama signs ‘Monsanto Protection Act,’ Frankenfish heads to US market
On Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed the Agriculture Appropriations Bill into law. Within the legislation exists a provision, “The Monsanto Protection Act,” that has many speculating the future of food in American because it protects genetically modified seeds patents from litigation over health risks. Since Obama signed the bill, nearly 250,000 have signed a petition to President Obama. RT’s Margaret Howell has more on the bill and how “frankenfish” could be making their way into supermarkets across the nation.
David Versus Monsanto – 52 minute documentary – trailer
Imagine that a storm blows across your garden and that now, genetically-manipulated seeds are in your crops. A multi-national corporation pay you a visit, demand that you surrender your crops – and then sue you for $200 000 for the illegal use of patented, GM seeds. In this definitive David and Goliath battle, one farmer stands up against a massive multinational, and their right to claim ownership to a living organism.
GMO A Go Go – Truth about GMOs explained in new animated cartoon
How GMO foods alter organ function and pose a very real health threat to humans
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.
Jeffrey M. Smith: Monsanto, GMO Seeds of Destruction
“Outrageous! That’s what you’ll say over and over again when you read how the biotechnology companies have manipulated the government, our food, and the media, and put an entire generation at risk.”
What is Genetically Modified Food?
Obama says American’s Should Know Where Their Food Is Coming From, Signs Bill Approving GMOs
Video of Obama Promising to Label Food if Elected and Bill Maher comments on Genectically Modified Food