'Monsanto Protection Act' slips through

david52_gwMarch 27, 2013

The US House of Representatives quietly passed a last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week - including a provision protecting genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks.

The rider, which is officially known as the Farmer Assurance Provision, has been derided by opponents of biotech lobbying as the âÂÂMonsanto Protection Act,â as it would strip federal courts of the authority to immediately halt the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) seed crop regardless of any consumer health concerns.

The provision, also decried as a âÂÂbiotech rider,â 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.

-snip-

Previously discovered pathogens in MonsantoâÂÂs Roundup Ready corn and soy are suspected of causing infertility in livestock and to impact the health of plants.

So, just how much of a victory is this for biotech companies like Monsanto? Critics are thus far alarmed by the very way in which the provision made it through Congress -- the rider was introduced anonymously as the larger bill progressed through the Senate Appropriations Committee. Now, groups like the Center for Food Safety are holding Senator Mikulski (D-MD), chairman of that committee, to task and lobbing accusations of a âÂÂbackroom dealâ with the biotech industry.

As the Washington Times points out, the provisionâÂÂs success is viewed by many as a victory by companies like Syngenta Corp, Cargill, Monsanto and affiliated PACs that have donated $7.5 million to members of Congress since 2009, and $372,000 to members of the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Here is a link that might be useful: Who's your Daddy

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esh_ga

How awful. An another example of how "our" representatives don't represent us (people) over companies.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:39PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)
    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:48PM
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rob333

Brings new meaning to the term running roughshod.

My mouth is agape. Literally. I could not shut my mouth. I just keep shaking my head and blinking. Am I really reading this?!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 3:51PM
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esh_ga

I have now written both Senators and my congressman on this. Honestly we just need to CLEAN HOUSE.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 4:29PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Dangit!

^$@^&@!?##$%!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 4:39PM
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ronalawn82(z9FL)

david52, I am confused (it does not take much). This Link suggests that this controversy has been going on since 2012 - or even before that.
The opponents of the 'Act' have been asleep.
Boredom, I guess; from lethargy!

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 4:46PM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Ron, we haven't been asleep, it failed to make it out of committee last session. It wasn't even on the radar this year, as the article said it was slipped in anonymously.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 5:02PM
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jodik_gw

Profit before people... it's the American way.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 6:41PM
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elvis

It's horrible. If you can, grow your own.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 8:02PM
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pnbrown

You guys didn't get any of the many email petitions to the Prez against it, in the last few weeks?

    Bookmark   March 27, 2013 at 9:40PM
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batyabeth

Yes, got quite a few of them and signed many of them, adding my name to the petitions against this. Monsanto bullies it's way over farmers, and through Congress. We knew, we were not sleeping. To fight Monsanto you need much, much more than petitions - we need someone in Congress who has the political power to make this a public issue.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 4:30AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

Does this mean that I could grow an extra ear?

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 5:25AM
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ohiomom

Batya is right, you can sign a million petitions but it is not the same as that other paper that goes into the pocket of the politicians.

Best congress money can buy ...

United Corporations of America

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 7:33AM
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esh_ga

Frankly I don't even feel that the effort I put into writing my officials makes a difference. They don't care how the constituents feel and that's what is wrong with America right now.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:59AM
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kwoods(Cold z7 Long Is)

Esh, agree 100%. My congressman's staff dismisses me because I care enough to contact his office so frequently over so many years on matters of interest to me.
If I had cash I'm sure they would be more receptive.

Without some solidarity of purpose we are nothing more than a market to be exploited.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:32AM
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pnbrown

Of course. Money is power.

I was just surprised that some here did not seem to know about this latest Monsanto maneuver.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:34AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

I have been fighting against such legislative maneuvers for years on behalf of organic farming and certification. We would get the National Organic Standard Board to propose values and standards favored by most organic farmers and processors, only to find later that someone in the USDA rewrites the rules to favor one special interest or another.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:40AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

I don't get e-mail petitions and nothing showed up on FB. Nevertheless, if I did and sent an e-mail to my legislator, I doubt it would have stopped this. Lobbying groups and corporations influence politicians in a plutocracy.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 9:55AM
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jodik_gw

Writing to representatives today normally results in form letters that, more often than not, don't begin to address the issues one writes to them about. It's highly doubtful the representatives written to even read incoming mail from constituents, and more likely that some underling or secretary screens the mail and sends out generic response letters. At least, that's been my experience.

Money has the power and influence wrapped up.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 10:26AM
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WxDano(5b-2a-6/7)

Some wingers on the Facebook predictably started blaming Obama for this rider, and so I started looking around.

I'm not so sure this is the same language that got struck last year, nor am I sure this rider gives GMO corporations any more power than they have now.

Not 100% yet.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2013 at 8:42PM
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PRO
Brushworks Spectacular Finishes(5)

I'm sure Obama was down in the dirt, kicking and clawing, biting and slapping to keep it from being slipped through. Please tell me I'm right.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 8:19AM
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marshallz10(z9-10 CA)

Let's be realistic. The stop-gap emergency funding bill is likely filled with special interest cwapp slipped in by both sides. The President is unlikely to veto the bill because a single rider, no matter how odious. The President doesn't have line item veto rights, especially on funding bills.

The rider in question should have gone through the Committee and/or Subcommittee review process before being added to an omnibus bill. Knowing that the rider would likely be excluded, the conniving congresscritter(s) slip the rider into the bill anonymously and secretly, apparently.

    Bookmark   March 29, 2013 at 9:28AM
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