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The Monsanto Protection Act

Posted by o2tiller 8A (My Page) on
Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 17:56

Very sneaky indeed! Most (including myself) were not aware that Monsanto and their lobbyists used congress to successfully pass a new law this week... the US Senate passed HR 933 (buried in the bowels of Section 735) ~ The Monsanto Protection Act (which protects the giant from any litigation involving their 'altered' seeds, health issues, and environmental damage). How do you spell love, MONEY!


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

I haven't digested all this yet. But here's a link to Snopes which gives it a "mixture".

Does R 933 extend it beyond December 13, 2013?

Here is a link that might be useful: Monsanto Protection Act


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

^
A 3-month extension so far. Farmers Protection Act??? Maybe? Protecting Monsanto's massive contract farms is more like it. The Bill should be called what it really is: 'arse' protection (covering Monsanto's hind parts). Sneaking a bill into an unrelated budget bill does not seem 'quite right' (perfectly executed though, with all the drama over the congressional shut down & Obamacare).

With "933", Monsanto bypasses consumer and environmental protections from genetically engineered crops. That protection is used to protect massive profits, period! A company giant that makes chemical herbicides applied to farm crops, AND also makes genetically engineered seeds to survive the herbicides... eh? Bee colony collapse, the Taco Bell incident, monopoly of Mexico's corn crops, the elimination of small independent American farmers... ? I wonder if Monsanto serves their products on the plates of their company cafeterias.

This post was edited by o2tiller on Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 19:12


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

By Monsanto you must mean all the agritech corporations. There are a number of other major players. For some inscrutable reason Monsanto gets all the attention.


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Large corporations absolutely have Congress in their pockets.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Sun, Sep 22, 13 at 20:39

They get it because they do things that draw it.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

So don't buy their products and tell everyone you know not to. Spreading the word right here on GW is a good thing.

Do what you can do. I'll write my Congresspeople, as usual.


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So don't buy their products and tell everyone you know not to.

Ah, you do know that it's farmers that are buying these seeds, not us? So we should stop by anything derived from corn ....?


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Already do pretty well on that. It's not difficult; read the labels. If they're not accurate, well. I can only speak for me. We're probably more diligent readers here on HT, than most.

If GMO is as bad for us as some think, I guess natural selection will weed out the population substantially. Eventually, or not. Maybe genetic mutations will prove to be a good thing, who knows. In that case, the joke's on me.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

So anything with high fructose corn syrup is labeled as to whether it has GMO corn in it? Or you just avoid HFCS?


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The latter, Esh.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 0:22

Outfits like this are set up for world domination - you can't just blithely eschew their products unless you are able to operate outside of the general production and supply system.

It didn't take long for the GMO soybean to become pervasive at all.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

Avoiding high fructose corn syrup or corn sugars does not avoid anything gmo. Genetically modified fruits, grains, and vegetables are everywhere... and the consumer deserves to know where and what... and why.

Even commercially produced meat is inundated with chemicals and things I'd rather not ingest... like antibiotics, growth hormones, etc... no, thanks.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

Certified organic excludes any GM cultivar. As well as the use of glysophate.


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Also imported food products from europe will be extremely likely GMO-free. Cheese will be from rgbh-free milk, most likely, whereas here it is the opposite, unless labelled organic.

Best of all, of course, is to know the producer.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

  • Posted by batya Israel north 8-9-10 (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 12:19

Watch the movie "food, inc" and see what Monsanto has been doing for decades. They are evil and should be treated as such. Not to mention what they do in Africa to small farmers, too. Evil evil company. And our government food "protection" person is a former Monsanto big muckity muck. If I have very, very few beefs (pun intended) with our president (and I have very few), this is my big one.

Sites like Real Pharmacy , Grow Food Not Lawns, and Food Democracy Now are good sites for more info.

Like I said, evil.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

  • Posted by bboy USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA (My Page) on
    Tue, Sep 24, 13 at 13:32

Commercial interests have managed to get organic certification watered down over time, so that it no longer means what it used to.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

"Commercial interests have managed to get organic certification watered down over time, so that it no longer means what it used to."

How so?


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

"With "933", Monsanto bypasses consumer and environmental protections from genetically engineered crops."

That is absolutely untrue. The crops still have to go through the hurdles of regulation...it does nothing to short-cut or get rid of this.

What this does is let the the Sec. of Ag. allow the planting of an already approved crop while it's legality is being debated in the courts and it's chain of appeals from plaintiffs and/or defendants. <--- That's it...all of it.

It doesn't let things pass through unregulated...it doesn't mean producers are immune from being sued...it doesn't make anything any easier to pass through regulation...etc. It does that one thing. There has been so much b/s and weirdness written about this that could be solved by actually reading the 200-ish words that is the "Monsanto Protection Act" (which is neither an act, nor does it protect just Monsanto).

This became an issue when GMO sugar beets were temporarily held up by courts after a ton of farmers had already spent a ton of money on GMO sugar beet seed and the legality of actually planting them came into question. This was also an issue with GMO alfalfa, but not as dire as the sugar beets issue because of how many farmers went to GMO sugar beets so quickly. Never has a GMO crop been adopted/chosen so quickly by farmers as GMO sugar beets.

After year 1 of GMO sugar beets on the market, 80%+ of farmers adopted it...after year 2, it was close to 95%.

An issue like this can not only create a situation where a farmer has spent a lot of money on something they can't plant...it can also cause issues with supply when there's not enough non-GMO seed to go around as a replacement crop pending it's legality.

As it is, non-GMO bulk sugar beet seed is quite hard to find in a very short period of time thanks to farmers going GMO in droves.

Which leads us to the issues pointed out above about avoiding corn syrup if you want to avoid GMO...hell, you better avoid all sugar except cane sugar unless you want to avoid GMO unless you know it's source. You're also going to want to avoid a lot of canola oil and soy products...and the canola part is especially hard since it can be labeled as "vegetable oil."

I'm a supporter of labeling...that's something that should be a major focus rather that silly stuff like this...especially with all the gross misinformation about it which people are rallying behind without really knowing what it is. Stick to issues that are clear cut and you can fight a good battle...otherwise it's a distraction and a waste of your time because it's an argument that's not going anywhere politically or commercially. If you know what's going down and you want to fight it...have at it...help your peers and arm them with an argument that can actually work on corporations, regulators, and government.

A big issue with the anti-GMO movement is an insane lack of quality information from the leaders of the movement...and it does very little to get them anywhere. It's a self-defeating cycle that only rallies numbers, yet doesn't get much done...and then they're told by those same leaders that it wasn't the bad info they've been fed, it's a conspiracy of "big business" laying the hammer down on them.

I don't even blame the people on the ground...I blame the "leaders" feeding the people on the ground this kind of information. It sounds true...it sounds right...a lot of the time it isn't or it's alarmist as hell. It's like the popular 2,4-D = Agent Orange argument that's been going on for a year+ now which is so ignorant that you can't even talk to a farmer about something as silly as that, much less corporations, regulatory agencies, or government...it's just a quick way to invalidate what you're trying to say and make you a weak warrior in the fight.

The anti-GMO movement has a real problem with information discovery, dispersal, and overall leadership which needs addressing. Until this happens, there's going to be more wheel spinning than getting things done in the US.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 3:27


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

  • Posted by batya Israel north 8-9-10 (My Page) on
    Wed, Sep 25, 13 at 7:19

"As it is, non-GMO bulk sugar beet seed is quite hard to find in a very short period of time thanks to farmers going GMO in droves. "

maybe due to Monsanto suing and destroying any small farmer who refuses to buy/plant their seeds? When they have very deep legal pockets and small farmers can't fight them?

And no this isn't bad info or alarmist - check your sources and remember that there is a very good reason the powers that be don't want to have this info floating around. Very easy to discount ? Not really, once you remember that Monsanto and their ilk have been lying and using the court system to drown any dissent for decades, and what isn't legal or possible in the US is done on an even larger, more insidious scale in poorer countries. There, farmers can't fight at all, and if they don't want corporate seeds, the quickly find themselves blacklisted from buying any seeds. I'm not making this up, it all depends where you get your information.

We're not stupid. We're angry.


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"maybe due to Monsanto suing and destroying any small farmer who refuses to buy/plant their seeds?"

Farmer choice. The missing part of the equation from this is the farmers. The notion that farmers are bullied into something or their seed stock is destroyed rather than them going "I can make more money doing this" seems to pass right over too many people.

The farmers did this. It's a whole lot easier/cheaper to top spray a field with herbicide than to apply and till it in. It's simply about profit for the farmer. Glyphosate is available cheaply from Chinese distributors and you don't have to till it in...less equipment through the field, less labor, less fuel, less wear/tear on equipment, etc.

Farmers spend as much time with their books and spreadsheets as they do with their fields. Money and time in vs profit out matters a lot to them. Farmers are not those grizzled old men in television commercials looking over their fields at sunset praying that God takes care of their harvest...they're businessmen and buisnesswomen. For a lot of farmers, this is a profession where loans totaling 10s-100s of thousand of dollars are taken out on a yearly basis in order to do their work...it's not as romantically simple as TV and the movies make it. We're talking about farmers managing 100s-1000s+ of acres here, not your local farmer's market veggie grower or CSA supplier.

"And no this isn't bad info or alarmist - check your sources and remember that there is a very good reason the powers that be don't want to have this info floating around. Very easy to discount ?"

If you read this 200-ish words that is the "Monsanto Protection Act" it becomes rather clear...it's a very small piece of literature.

Things being said about it range from alarmist, to half-truth, to untrue.

In simplest form...if an already regulated and approved crop gets tied up in the court system, the Sec. of Ag. can release the crop for planting on an interim basis while the courts are figuring out where it's going to end up in it's final appeals stage. This "Act" hasn't even been used yet. It does nothing for stuff that isn't approved...nor does it speed up the process of approval.


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Btw and fwiw...it probably won't be renewed anyway. It's become quite unpopular with judges, activists, and some lawmakers.

If the extension makes it into law, it will probably die in December (when the extension ends) and there's a lot of talk that it may not even make it in the latest 3-month extension which would end it very soon. The critical planting season would be done by then and there's nothing being sued/appealed in the pipeline being held up, anyway.

The protection provided in the bill has been used in the past (in the case of both sugar beets and alfalfa) without needing this provision, fwiw...so precedence gives it "business as usual" on the issue, but opens it up to be challenged in the courts.

This whole issue is rather "small potatoes" compared to anti-GMO activities on whole. Labeling really needs to be addressed because it's got the most steam and is easily understood, mostly without being logic-skewed, by most people...as well as having the greatest immediate impact on skewing what farmers are putting in the field and especially the demands of food producers for food orders. This is the quickest way to put a dent in what's being grown in the US and swing the pendulum the "other way."


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In addition, check the actual facts on this supposed farmer intimidation over saving GMO seeds rather than the anti GMO hype.

A company spends 20 years developing a new variety and many millions of dollars getting it through regulatory clearance. It has the legal right to control the seed of its plants. This is done with many, many agricultural and ornamental varieties today, GMO and conventially bred.

The only actual cases that have been prosecuted have been by Sygenta where in a couple of cases in the U.S. three or four farmers saved seed. In turned out in each case the farmer was going to sell the seed as well as replant with it. You know what the "terrible" fine was? The farmers had to sign an agreement that they wouldn't do it it anymore.

Commercial farmers with very few exceptions (and those are not likely to be planting a GMO crop) are not seed savers. They buy fresh seed every year.

Every one of the GMO plant patents also contains an exception allowing subsistence farmers to save seed with penalties.

Monsanto is not some great benevolent father. But at least get actual facts to pick on them about.


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Thanks for the info NC and Kim. I really like anti-hysteria talk; it's reassuring.

On a personal level, I will continue to avoid GMO.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

Many very good, well written opinions on the subject! A lot of contention and disagreement for a one paragraph "200-ish words". But could one draw their own conclusions, agree or disagree, without reading/researching the subject? One could easily argue for hours about what "the consolidated and further appropriation act 2013, section 735" - aka: 'the Monsanto rider' or 'Monsanto protection act' - does and does not do. I'm sure lawyers that make a living from arguing the meaning of law could stretch it out for years.

The (very tiny) section 735 is attached to HB 933, which mainly pertains to defense and homeland security. This was not even a separate vote, it was a 'one' vote for a bill with 39 titles in 6 divisions. Yes indeed, GMO products must go through a safety process by the USDA. From my understanding (correct me if I am wrong), the "Act" bars the courts from being able to stop the sale of, and/or planting of, the GMO being challenged. Who's crops are usually under investigation for being unsafe? Temporary waivers while crops are being investigated (regardless of whether or not they are being used today)?

Section 735 not only protects Monsanto, it protects other biotech companies and their products. Just an open door for Monsanto and the potential of having matters ruled in their favor. The idea of this law primarily protecting industrialized farms using GMOs, along with the impacts on the environment, should not be rejected. After GMO crops have been planted, what assurance of any impact on the environment is temporary? Additional time often embitters any problems the crops may cause.

I strongly agree with the labeling aspect of GMOs (which do not have to be labeled). Labeling seems to be one positive step forward with helping to protect the consumer. Monsanto has spent $millions to oppose the labeling of GMO products. By no means am I a GMO activist, nor do I have anything against Monsanto. I do have a "beef" with the way this was done by Monsanto and our Congress people. I also believe there is nothing wrong with wanting large corporations like this one to be held accountable for their actions.

Do I consume GMOs? More than likely! Regardless of the assorted opinions, spins, tilts... GMOs could be a good thing, then again, they could be a very bad thing that could snowball out of control.


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I am sure that when one refers to Monsanto they refer to whole agriculture - chemical/engineering sector in general. We don't have a nickname such as Big Pharma and such. Every big company gets "victimized" as such.

""With "933", Monsanto bypasses consumer and environmental protections from genetically engineered crops."

That is absolutely untrue. The crops still have to go through the hurdles of regulation...it does nothing to short-cut or get rid of this."

There are no long term tests done on the consequences of their products. It is even stated on their website. They have short term studies primarily on lab subjects and one decade is not long term (as they state). Most human ailments happen many decades into life, not one. Plus, we put faith in our government/medical system telling us all these products are safe so we believe it and don't look at our foods being the source of our ailments. There is much more to it than moderation.

I used to work for a company that provided grants for agricultural research and was a firm believer in technology, advancement and feeding people at a lower cost. I am fortunate that I found out first hand the negative effects this can actually have and can feed myself and my family properly. All this garbage that is in our food system is disgusting (yes, another topic altogether).
These companies do not take accountability for their product. They create pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers that are so very toxic but weren't working with technology to apply with minimal application until decades later. It's irresponsible and I won't ever back up a "company" that does such business.

There is a lot of money in this industry and that is what must be protected. They will never be accountable for their product because they just want to profit from it.

Agent Orange will always be symbolic in the fight. These companies helped to create one of the biggest tragedies of all time. I don't care if it was Joe Blow in a university lab, Jane Doe in a Monsanto lab, or some kid at DOW. It was created and these companies said it was "safe" - "yeah, it's just a defoliage". They sold it to the government for war purposes - did they really believe they would be responsible with it? And they still say their products are safe. Monsanto still denies that agent orange may be responsible for the health effects to veterans as it is not conclusively causal. They settled though - as long as they did not have to admit liability? But, they still settled? I am glad their name is tarnished being the "big player" in this game. They produced it and they sold it. Agent Orange will never be a silly argument. It was a horrifying event that happened and you have to look at the big players who were involved and the reality is the people (government bodies) and manufacturers of this poison did this and it really happened. Only a small fraction of those involved actually got any reimbursement from this lawsuit and these individuals got nothing ($3500).

All herbicides/pesticides/gmo's should be highly regulated and monitored. The only people who benefit from these companies are corporations so I don't doubt it will be a permanent fixture in this bill. Really, though, it is up to corporations if they want this passed - the money they have will get them what they want. The consumer won't have an impact at this moment, not enough knowledge (just hype as nc-corn says). Just look at the GMO labelling fiasco last year. Money talks.

Just google autoimmune disease and GMO's, or hormones in meat, flavourings, colourings (yes I realize this is separate) but the fact is people are becoming aware and we have access to this information on the negative effects of such. This has to be worrisome for such corporations. These companies, hopefully, have a lot to be afraid of.

I will always feel for the small farmer as it is getting more and more difficult to not succumb to the convenience of technology and not practice sustainable agriculture. Heck, I feel this way with my way of eating at times.

I regret ever being an apologist for this company (or industry).


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

Cookie8, you just made a mighty big leap lumping Agent Orange in here. As someone who has looked at pretty much all of the primary papers because a big chunk of them are bring kept at the National Agricultural Library for which I do public affairs, here are actual real facts.

Agent Orange is indeed a defoliant--an herbicide. It contains the mildest herbicide in terms of impact on people ever invented. In fact if you dig out the original scientific publication on it (which I have), the scientist (who was admittedly a little strange) actually put in the paper that he ate it pure every day for three months to prove how safe it was. Can you imagine a scientist doing or that or putting it in a journal article today?

The problem was that Dow accidentally introduced 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzodioxin (TCDD), an extremely toxic dioxin compound into its production run of Agent Orange. This is what caused the health problems in vets.

Making sweeping unfactual claims makes it very hard to hold companies' and regulators' feet to the fire on stuff where they need to be when they can use as an escape route, "well you were off target on these claims, why should we take you seriously now."

I'm no defender of corporate America. I don't trust them one bit. And government regulators work best in the merciless light of public scrutiny. But only when they also know that the light is not a burning torch of mob rule that cares only for its own philosophy and not facts


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I brought up Agent Orange as it was mentioned. By no means do I know all the details of Agent Orange but I do know who was involved and it is something in history that happened and these companies were involved.

"Agent Orange is indeed a defoliant--an herbicide. It contains the mildest herbicide in terms of impact on people ever invented. In fact if you dig out the original scientific publication on it (which I have), the scientist (who was admittedly a little strange) actually put in the paper that he ate it pure every day for three months to prove how safe it was. Can you imagine a scientist doing or that or putting it in a journal article today?"
Three months? So what? How many decades did we use asbestos? Look what it did in large amounts and it was considered safe. I have a problem with all these chemicals because they all end up in our ground soil, our ground water, our water ways and then we have accumulation. Farmers aren't being monitored for how they are applying these chemicals. Machinery is expensive to apply it properly and minimally and too much is being used. These companies want exemption from their own product. It isn't fair.

"I'm no defender of corporate America. I don't trust them one bit."
And this is where my fear is. They can buy their way into what they want and need.

Our food and water supply should be monitored and researched way more that what is being done.

You know, if they want to protect their product, I'm fine with that. I can avoid it the best I can. Should it come out their products are causing damage, any damage, it should be challenged harshly. They are lucky because they have the tobacco industry as a great stepping stone.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

http://thehill.com/blogs/regwatch/legislation/324581-senate-funding-bill-wont-include-monsanto-protection-act-


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Yay!


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Works for me :)


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Oh please, the foxes are in charge of the henhouse. The FDA is run by former Monsanto hacks. Monsanto's Man and Lawyer in DC, Michael Taylor, is BO's FDA Food Safety Czar.
Yeah, that's really going to reign Monsanto in. Not.


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RE: The Monsanto Protection Act

All the more reason to raise one's own chickens, eh?


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