What's The Monsanto Protection Act And Why Is It All Over Facebook?

Illustration for article titled What's The Monsanto Protection Act And Why Is It All Over Facebook?

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

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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.

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Critics slam Obama for "protecting" Monsanto [CBS News]

Image via wrangler/Shutterstock

DISCUSSION

lollipopKABOOM
lollipopKABOOM

I would be fine with GMOs if the companies developing them weren't such dirty crooks about it. They will sue farmers for stealing if their product works its way into that farmer's crop. They keep trying to patent life forms, which is ethically SCARY, and they keep trying to engineer plants to maximize their profits in creepy, gross way.

GMOs should be about packing foods with extra nutrients or making them capable of growing in tougher environments. GMOs should be about making the world a better place, not a place of higher profit margins.

So I'm super conflicted here. Should I fight against GMOs because they're being wielded by crooks? Or should I protect GMOs so they can be used and made by people with good intentions?