Monsanto Required (Nutrition Optional)Posted: March 28, 2013 | |
America is very different than last week. The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 (a.k.a The Monsanto Protection Act) including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds (GMO) from accountability in the court systems in spite of arising health concerns.
In this bill there is a rider titled the Farmer Assurance Provision which ties the federal court’s hands ability to halt the production, planting, and sale of GMOs. According to RT, “The provision, also decried as a “biotech rider,” should have gone through the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees for review. Instead, no hearings were held, and the piece was evidently unknown to most Democrats (who hold the majority in the Senate) prior to its approval as part of HR 993, the short-term funding bill that was approved to avoid a federal government shutdown.“
The rest of the bill seems harmless enough and even has provisions to reward farmers who make extra efforts in wetland conservation, however this protection of Monsanto, Cargill, and Syngenta Corp from even being brought into litigation is unconscionable.
Simply put we really don’t know what the effects of GMOs are; that being said, the European Union has banned GMOs, as have Australia, Japan, the UK and two dozen other countries. These foods have herbicides and pesticides built directly into the seed. They are intentionally mutated to be more resilient and prosperous. Great for the bottom line. Probably not so great for us to consume mutated bacterium and food that is grown from a seed that has poison as part of its genetic make-up. That may be an over simplification, but in light of this new law the courts and us have lost the ability to keep them accountable. Horrifying.
Reasons GMOs are definitely bad: Monsanto and other massive corporations own these seed’s genetic structure. They own the organism. This would be kind of awesome except seeds cross pollinate. That means when the mutant seed pollinates another plant it mutates as well. Now for farmers who do not want to use chemically infused corn, like Monsanto’s Ready Round Up Sweet Corn, this poses a huge issue. They plant their own seeds and the farmer down the road uses a GMO. Farmer A’s crop gets pollinated by the GMO. The next year their seeds have the same structure as Farmer B’s. Unfortunately Farmer A didn’t buy their seed from Monsanto, but since it is the same as the organism Monsanto owns, Monsanto sues the dissenting farmer out of business, therefore developing a monopoly on the food supply.
This also limits a gene from diversifying which typically has negative side effects. Think of a mongrel in old age and a pure breed. The mongrel probably is going to be more healthy because its genetic sequence hasn’t been limited.
Lastly once the gene is out there is no putting it back in the lab. If we do not know what the effects of GMOs are we shouldn’t allow them to contaminate existing organisms. If they do end up to be detrimental, what will we eat?
There is light at the end of the tunnel. The bill has a six month expiration which means this provision does not have to stand. This effects us all both in health and habitat. Please contact your Senators and Congress. http://www.contactingthecongress.org/ and http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml
Food Democracy Now is campaigning to get GMOs labeled. You can sign that petition here. http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/obama_signs_monsanto_protection_act_time_to_label_gmos/
Drive fast, take chances, thanks for reading.