President Obama signed HR 933 into law with biotech rider Sec. 735 – dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act – still contained. Simply put, the rider hidden in the text of the Farmer Assurance Provision – and has nothing to do with Continuing Resolution spending (HR 933) – protects Monsanto from the court system should they want to halt illegally planted or hazardous genetically modified crops. The USDA already gives biotech companies like Monsanto the thumbs up, trusting Monsanto’s own safety evaluations. Now the court system cannot intervene, which could prove detrimental to farmers who are sued by Monsanto for patent infringement when theirGM seeds contaminate those farmers’ fields.
The rider was passed despite efforts of phone calls, emails, and forms asking for veto made by over a quarter-million concerned Americans given very little time to do so before the “must-pass” spending bill slipped through the House and Senate. That number comes just from Food Democracy Now!’s alert alone. That does not include the many contacts made by people who read alerts from many other websites and organizations.
This left many shocked and outraged, but many others were not surprised. Even though the Obama family enjoys non-GMO organic fare, at least from the White House garden, the Administration is known for hiring former Monsanto employees like Michael Taylor to high-up food safety positions – a blatant conflict of interest. Almost half a million people asked Obama to cut FDA ties with Monsanto. Remember this clip (below) from 2007 of Obama promising to label GMOs?
Where do we go from here?