For those of you who don’t live under a rock, I am certain that you have noticed a lot of attention recently on the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act.” If you are new to this discussion, I will give you a brief synopsis to bring you up to speed.
For starters, Monsanto is the largest producer of genetically modified organisms(GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds worldwide. They have a dirty track record of ruthlessly driving the family farmer who chooses not to grow these products out of business through litigation. Several documentaries have been produced documenting this struggle. I strongly encourage you to watch Food, Inc., Food Matters, Fresh, and The Future of Food
Being a massive corporation with billions of dollars on the line, Monsanto has developed a strong political foothold to ensure the profitability of their product. HERE you can see a list of politicians that have strong ties to this company (Click on the link “Monsanto’s Government Ties”). Monsanto has always advocated that their products are safe and are designed to be able to increase food production and feed the world. Sounds noble, right?
Wrong. First, very few long term tests have been performed to study the safety of these practices. Recently, strong evidence was discovered through a french study showing the potential dangers of GMOs. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, found that rats fed on a diet of 33 per cent NK603 corn and others exposed to Roundup, the weedkiller used with it, developed tumors, liver damage and digestive problems.
It is for reasons like this that many countries have banned GMOs. They do this to protect their people, their soil, and their ability to produce healthy, sustainable food. Those countries currently include:
- Africa: Algeria, Egypt
- Asia: Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, Phillipines
- Europe: The European Union, Norway, Austria, Germany United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Portugal
- Latin America: Brazil, Paraguay
- Middle East: Saudi Arabia
- Pacific: American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Kiribati, Federated States of Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Australia, New Zealand
It would seem that if a possibility of harm existed, that at least we could have labeling regulations that would identify the presence of GMOs in food products. California tried to do just that in 2012 with Proposition 37, but failed. Monsanto, amongst other corporations, spent huge $$$ to defeat this bill successfully.
The recent news reports are in regards to laws that actually protect companies like Monsanto should their products start hurting and killing people, like they inevitably will. This legislation (section 735) was snuck into HR 933, a spending bill designed to avert government shutdown. This bill effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future.
This piece of the bill was largely penned by Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, who worked along side with Monsanto to create the terms. President Obama had the ability to veto section 735 this week and thus maintain some protection for the American citizen. Unfortunately, he failed to do this and instead pandered to his corporate allies who will no doubt reward him for his efforts. Of course, this is not a surprise to anyone who follows these events as they have been ending this way time and time again. You may be aware of the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA) of 1986 which immunized vaccine manufacturers from liability due to any injuries sustained from the administration of their product. If your kid dies from a vaccine reaction, you can petition to seek compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), but may not sue the manufacturer.
What do you think happens when corporations are no longer legally responsible for the safety of their products? Please share or comment.
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