Monsanto Protection Act has been extended by the House majority
Despite 250,000 people who signed a petition against The Farmer Assurance Provision also know as Monsanto Protection Act, recently the biotech rider was extended by the House majority for another three month.
Last March, Monsanto Protection Act was added to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill, before most members of Congress had any time to read the bill. The critics of the bill say that the biotech rider will give Monsanto immunity from getting prosecuted under the current legal system.
While 27 countries have banned GMOs and more than 57 countries have required GMO labeling, the biotech companies including DuPont and Monsanto spend millions of dollars to defeat GMO labeling movement in US. With US anti-GMO labeling policies, more and more Americans are concerned about the health risks of GMOs. In fact, many critics believe that passing laws such as Monsanto Act will allow Monsanto to plant GM crops without having to worry about lawsuits filed against them due to health damages and problems of GMOs.
Colin O’Neil, the director of government affairs for Center for Food Safety said that “It is extremely disappointing to see the damaging ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ policy rider extended in the House spending bill. Hundreds of thousands of Americans called their elected officials to voice their frustration and disappointment over the inclusion of ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ this past spring. Its inclusion is a slap in the face to the American public and our justice system.”
The biotech rider extended by the House majority undermines the voices of millions of people who marched against Monsanto
Apparently the US Congress is more interested in the deep pockets of biotech companies including Monsanto than the voice of millions of people who marched globally against GMOs back in May.
While majority of Americans believe that GMOs should to labeled, the House of representative are busy dealing behind the curtains against the public interest and in favor of multibillion dollar Frankenfood companies. In fact, before all members of Congress had time to read Monsanto Act, both Senators Barbara Mikulski and Roy Blunt, at the last minute helped to add the biotech rider into 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. Although most members of Congress are run by big money from the biotech, few members of Congress have opposed GMO and Monsanto including Senators Jeff Merkley and Dennis Kucinich. According to Huffingtonpost, Sen. Jeff Merkley has waged a campaign against Monsanto Act.
"The proposed House continuing resolution includes an extension of the Monsanto Protection Act, a secret rider slipped into a must-pass spending bill earlier this year," Merkley said. "I will fight the House's efforts to extend this special interest loophole that nullifies court orders that are protecting farmers, the environment, and public health."
Sen. Jeff Merkley also mentioned how the impact of GMOs on farmers can be significant and because of GMOs, US has lost its export of corn and wheat to many countries.
“The current situation in Oregon of GMO wheat escaping a field test--resulting in several nations suspending the import of white wheat from the United States--underscores the fact that poorly regulated GMO cultivation can pose a significant threat to farmers who are not cultivating GMO crops.
But equally troubling to the policy rider's allowance of unrestricted sale and planting of GMO seeds, is the fact that the Monsanto Protection Act instructs the seed producers to ignore a ruling of the court, thereby raising profound questions about the constitutional separation of powers and the ability of our courts to hold agencies accountable.”
Additionally, Sen. Jeff Merkley points out “how in an accountable and transparent legislative system, the Monsanto Protection Act would have had to be considered by the Agriculture Committee, complete with testimony by relevant parties. If the committee had approved the act, there would have been a subsequent opportunity to debate it on the floor of this Chamber. Complete transparency with a full opportunity for the public to weigh in is essential. Since these features of an accountable and transparent legislative system were not honored and because I think the policy itself is unacceptable, I have offered an amendment to the farm bill which would repeal this rider in its entirety. To this point, my efforts to introduce that amendment have been objected to, and it takes unanimous consent. This type of rider has no place in an appropriations bill to fund the Federal Government, and a bill that interferes with our system of checks and balances should never have become law.”
The night before the good citizens of the world were getting ready to march against Monsanto, the House of Representatives had an opportunity to vote on a farm bill that will mandate GMO labeling in US. But, instead, all 71 US senators (from both Republican and Democratic parties) voted against GMO labeling bill after the elected officials from both parties received $262,000 donation from Monsanto. Click here to find out how much your representatives (or Monsanto’s real Representatives) were sold for.
You can find the name of Senator Debbie Stabenow, on top of all members of Congress who are officially on Monsanto’s payroll. Interestingly, Monsanto’s deep pockets have had a significant effect on the brain functionality of Sen. Stabenow since she cannot distinguish between fact and fiction.
“Labeling GMOs runs counter to science and the public interest in healthy foods and GMO labeling would interfere with the FDA's science-based process to determine what food labeling is necessary for consumers.” Stabenow said. “I believe we must rely on the FDA’s science-based examination before we make conclusions about food ingredients derived from genetically modified foods. They currently do not require special labeling because they’ve determined that food content of these ingredients does not materially differ from their conventional counterparts.”
Don’t let the biotech buy your vote:
Monsanto and DuPont have so far spent $11 million against Washington GMO labeling movement. It’s time not let corporations buy our vote. Please support and vote yes on I-522 this coming November and defend your right to know what’s in your food: http://seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/biotech-spends-millions-to-defeat-WA-GMO-labeling-Ronald-Reagan-WMDs.php