You may have noticed a petition hosted on food advocacy groups like Food Democracy Now circulating on social media for the last week. If you're anything like me, you blithely scrolled over it in your search for the perfect gif, or whatever other dumbass thing was at the forefront of your brain. But here's
On Tuesday President Obama signed the spending bill HR 933 into law, which was primarily concerned with the threat of government shutdown. However, buried in the fine print was Section 735, the Farmer Assurance Provision (which the press has since dubbed "the Monsanto Protection Act") which bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds. Food Democracy Now's executive director Dave Murphy said: "It's basically an ATM machine [and a] corporate handout to Monsanto." Murphy adds that every farmer and consumer is at risk.
Basically, the provision allows the major agricultural biotech corporation Monsanto to continue using GMO seeds in farms across America — it was actually written in collaboration with Monsanto reps themselves — although the detrimental health effects of these products to both human consumers and environmental biodiversity at large haven't yet been gauged adequately by researchers.
A study in September of 2012 linking GMO corn products to increased tumors in rats immediately elicited criticism by scientists, but do you really want the adjective "inconclusive" to apply to your food? No.
The International Business Times asserts that some of the signatures on the bill came from Congress members who didn't even realize that the Monsanto Protection Act was buried in HR 933.
More than 250,000 have signed the Food Democracy Now petition, which calls for a veto of the law and the mandatory labeling of GMOs, and a small group protested outside the White House on Wednesday.
Critics slam Obama for "protecting" Monsanto [CBS News]
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