Monsanto Protection Act

Stephen Lendman

Agribusiness giant Monsanto's the world's leading GMO seed producer. They're hazardous to human health. They should be banned. They proliferate.

GMO foods and ingredients are toxic. They're unsafe to eat. Independent studies prove it. Monsanto and other agribusiness giants want all animal and vegetable life forms patented. They want worldwide food control.

Obama's a partner in crime. He promised GMO labeling. He's done nothing to mandate it. It gets worse.

His food czar is former Monsanto executive Michael Taylor. He serves as FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods. He believes unsafe ones are fit to eat.

On March 26, Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act. It's the Farmer Assurance Provision rider in HR 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013. It permits circumventing judicial decisions. If courts rule GMOs unsafe, Monsanto's free to ignore them. So is the Secretary of Agriculture. Legislation permits "continued cultivation, commercialization, and other specifically enumerated activities." Safety's a non-issue.

The bill's language is hard to understand. Section 735 states:

"In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412c of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary's evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a time manner."

"Provided that all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status."

"Provided further that nothing is this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary's authority under sections 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act."

In other words, the Secretary of Agriculture's free to ignore food safety. He can let court ruled hazardous GMOs enter the food chain.

Before enactment, over 250,000 people petitioned the White House. They demanded the rider's removal. Obama ignored them. He's beholden to corporate interests. It shouldn't surprise. He's their man in Washington. He's there to serve them.

He supports dangerous GMOs. He does so irresponsibly. They harm human health. Obama's record reflects betrayal and failure. He supports wrong over right.

He prioritizes bottom line interests. He's done so throughout his tenure. He's waging war on human health and welfare. He's unfit to serve. He spurns rule of law principles.

He committed high crimes. He menaces humanity. A previous article called impeaching him a national imperative. Failure assures institutionalized tyranny. It guarantees proliferating hazardous GMOs on unwitting consumers.

Monsanto lawyers helped write the rider. Senator Roy Blunt (R. MO) worked with them. Many congressional members weren’t aware it existed. They made no effort to find out.

HR 933's a spending measure. It's a continuing resolution. Congress passed it to avoid shutdown. March 27 was deadline day. Enactment kept Washington operating. It does so through September 30. It's when FY 2013 ends.

Rider language set a terrible precedent. It's renewable. It shows consumer protections don't matter. Nor do court rulings. What corporations want they get. Monsanto's free to proliferate poison.

On March 25, the New York Daily News headlined "Opponents of genetically modified organisms in food, or GMOs, rail against provision that would limit the courts' ability to stop food producer Monsanto from growing crops later deemed potentially hazardous." - "Who's more powerful," it asked, "the world's largest producer of genetically modified crops or the US government?"

Food Democracy Now said:

"This dangerous provision, the Monsanto Protection Act, strips judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer and farmer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, citizens and the environment."

Public health lawyer Michele Simon opposed the provision, saying:

"Without any hearings on the matter, the Senate included language that would require the US Department of Agriculture to essentially ignore any court ruling that would otherwise halt the planting of new genetically-engineered crops."

Senator John Tester (D. Mont) said:

"These provisions are giveaways, pure and simple, and will be a boon worth millions of dollars to a handful of the biggest corporations in this country."

Seattle attorney Bill Marler represents food-related illness victims.

"I think any time you tweak with the ability of the public to seek redress from the courts," he said, "you create a huge risk."

Monsanto's no stranger to controversy. It's well-connected in high places. It wields huge clout. In 2012, it spent nearly $6 million lobbying. It contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars more to congressional campaigns. Benefits gained way exceed amounts spent. That's how Washington works. It spends millions annually investigating possible farmer patent violations. It targets anti-GMO state referenda and legislation. It wants all plant and animal products genetically modified. It wants worldwide food control. Unless stopped, it's well on track toward getting it.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He has devoted his time and efforts to progressive causes and organizations, all involved in working for a more humane and just world for all people everywhere, but especially for the most needy, disadvantaged and oppressed. His efforts since summer 2005 have included writing on a broad range of vital topics ranging from war and peace; social, economic and political equity for all; and justice for all the oppressed peoples of the world like the long-suffering people of Haiti and the Palestinians. He also co-hosts The Global Research News Hour, gives occasional public talks, and appears frequently on radio and at times television. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. Also visit his blog and listen to The Lendman News Hour on Monday - Friday at 10AM US Central time for cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on world and national issues. All programs are archived for easy listening. His new book "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War" can be ordered HERE. He can be reached at



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