Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Monsanto Protection Act Signed Into Law

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post

Late last night, 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 their GM 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?




The sneaky slip of this rider and it's quick passing has made the court system strangely helpless and some activists feeling deflated. It was a lot of last minute reading, scrambling, action - and now law, although we don't know for how long. The spending resolution is for six months, but indefinite riders have a way of sticking around. What did we do before this storm?

We tried to reach out to friends and watched where our food dollars went. Changed the market stream, where it really shows. As difficult as it is, it's more important than ever to refuse support for food companies that use GMO ingredients. We can continue to let Congress know that we are watching - no more selling us out, or else they should be out. No more spending money for things we don't want, things that are shown to cause harm. We aren't buying any of it.

Food Democracy Now! has created a petition form demanding Obama sign an executive order to label GMOs like he promised back in '07. This may not be the best route as executive orders are abused and many us don't want any more on the agenda. I would have to agree with the consensus that petitions often go ignored - but they still let leaders know that you're upset, active, and paying attention.

Thank you, Food Democracy Now! for the alert campaign that helped inform so many people, people who may not have known about the hazards of GMOs before. They attended a march today in front of the White House, sending a clear message.

You can stand with folks like these everywhere on May 25th in the March Against Monsanto - add your city to the list if you'd like to organize one.

Can't wait? Then send a message to Michael Taylor (FDA Deputy Commissioner for Foods) with Occupy-Monsanto's Eat-In on the FDA lawn, April 8th.

March Against Monsanto May 25th:
https://www.facebook.com/events/147274678766425/155451594615400

FDA Eat-In to Label GMOS April 8th:
https://www.facebook.com/events/120662614779931/

Activist Post's previous report:

A rider (Sec. 735) that would prevent courts from halting illegally planted GM crops (sometimes courts find fault with USDA-approved GM fields) was slipped into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill HR 933. It blind-sided an angry populace last week, giving little time to voice complaint before it was to go through the Senate.

Last Wednesday morning, HR 933 passed with the new rider dubbed by activists as the Monsanto Protection Act therein. The rider has nothing to do with proposed government spending to keep it running for the next six months. But it is unknown whether this incongruous rider will last six months or permanently.

According to GovTrack.us, the only thing left before the bill becomes law is the President's signature. Food Democracy Now! is asking you to join the more than 200,000 people who used their forms to contact Obama and Congress in an effort to strip the rider. This is not a petition. And those are only the people who used their site - countless other organizations alerted activists in the last two weeks.

If this "must-pass" bill gets signed into law, it would be the point of no return for unhindered Monsanto havoc. They would trump federal court power and courts would not be able to use authority to stop sales or planting of any illegal or hazardous genetically modified crops. Strange for biotech giants to want this rider, as the USDA already gives them unheeded approval without safety testing of their crops. Rider (Sec. 735) clinches Monsanto power - if the USDA or court system wants to halt GM crops or revoke approval, they cannot. It's also an open backdoor to whisk in future approvals.

This action is detrimental to farmers who want to fight against Monsanto's patent infringement lawsuits, those for the preservation of organic crops against GM contamination, and our export economy, as so many other countries have adopted GM bans. This Monsanto-driven rider is simply an industry ploy to continue to plant GM crops even when a court of law has found they were approved illegally - But it's being voted on urgently.

What can we do? Multiple options - follow these easy steps:


Food Democracy Now! was pivotal in the alerts and created a new form letter in the following link here:
  • If you don't like the pre-formatted letters, then consider using them as a guide and write your own.
  • Better yet, respectfully contact the White House. 
  • Follow this link to enter your info and find your reps, senators, and contact the White House - guided info is there to help with your phone call. 
  • Or, you can call the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121
  • To reach the White House to call President Barack Obama's line: (202) 456-1111.
  • Remember that it is activists who call it the Monsanto Protection Act - it's Section 735 of HR 933 that we want stripped
This is not a petition and this is not 'slacktivism.' Sneaky, hidden riders that are quickly voted through leave us few options and little time. But you can lend your voice. Whether it passes or not, that's another bridge to cross with other actions awaiting. The political and corporate biotech leaders are doing very little to gain back trust, but we can let them know we are watching, voting, and have had enough. 

This could be our last chance to stop Monsanto from corporate rule and full immunity. Tell President Obama here to block Sec 735, and Contact your Member of Congress to express your outrage at granting a blank check for Monsanto - Every voice counts!

Senator Jon Tester (an organic farmer), joined by Senators Boxer, Gillibrand and Leahy introduced an amendment (#74) to strike the dangerous rider from the CR. You can still voice your support for reviewing the Tester amendment - reportedly ignored and not added when this bill passed the Senate. Even if the Tester amendment voting is over with - make your opinion known to your Congress people, Obama, and let your Senators know your disappointment. It couldn't be easier with pre-formatted letters that go directly to your Senators.

Food Democracy Now! reports that there are 13 crops waiting for approval. The USDA is known for sweeping in approvals, letting Monsanto do their own safety evaluations, and taking their word. And,
The floodgates are literally open for Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical’s new GMO crops that are resistant to more toxic chemicals like 2,4-D, Agent Orange and dicamba that will replace failing Roundup Ready GMO crops. 
According to legal experts, this provision would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review and is a dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards needed to protect America’s farmers, citizens and the environment from the wanton approval of Monsanto's new GMO crops.
Don't forget to thank the Senators who stood up and supported the Tester amendment if you live in  Montana, California, New York, Vermont, Alaska or Connecticut - Senator Tester and his co-sponsors Senators Boxer, Gillibrand, Leahy, Begich and Blumenthal introduced the amendment to strip Section 735 from the bill.

Previous report from Food Democracy Now!:
Clearly Monsanto and the biotech industry are getting desperate and want to try an end run around a growing movement of farmers and citizens who are rejecting their products and calling for GMO labeling in an effort to make sure their new GMO crops can evade any serious scientific or regulatory review. 
In classic form, the biotech industry has cleverly hidden their toxic plan under the deceptive title of a "Farmer Assurance Provision" (Sec. 735). In truth, the "Monsanto Protection Act" would allow the biotech industry to continue to flout American legal precedence and violate the constitutional separation of powers set forth by our Founding Fathers. 
In short, the "Farmer Assurance Provision" is the greatest threat to farmers' and citizens' rights that Monsanto and the biotech industry has ever devised and it must be stopped - today! 
This current rider is a response to the successful lawsuits that farmers have filed to prevent the sale, distribution and cultivation of GMO sugarbeets and GMO alfalfa, both of which were forced to stop from being planted while the USDA finalized full environment reviews.  
Now, the new provision included in the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill will allow biotech seed and chemical companies to openly skirt even minimal protections of human health and environmental concerns. 
We need your help to make sure your Senator demands that Appropriations Chairman Mikulski pulls this dangerous and unconstitutional rider, and support any amendment that would strike the biotech rider from the new Continuing Resolution.

Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund is also alerting of another rider and urging contact to Senators to oppose the Monsanto rider and support of the Tester Amendments:
ANTI-COMPETITIVE RIDER (Section 742) - Livestock & Poultry Impact

The anti-competitive rider (section 742) deals with a law from the 1920s, the Packers and Stockyards Act ("PSA"), which was intended to provide protections against anti-competitive behavior in the livestock and poultry industries. In essence, the PSA was the Sherman Antitrust Act for agriculture. Although the PSA is a good statute, the USDA never properly implemented it. And that failure over the years has allowed large corporations to practice a variety of abusive, unfair, and deceptive practices that undermine the free market. 
A coalition of family farmer, independent rancher, and consumer groups fought for a provision in the 2008 Farm Bill directing the USDA to issue implementing regulations under the PSA. And we won. But the fight wasn't over. The big meatpackers managed to hamstring many of the proposed regulations. And now they want to completely eliminate the few protections we did get, leaving the meatpackers free to continue their abusive practices that hurt farmers.
Background:
‘Monsanto Protection Act’ would keep GMO crops in the ground during legal battles, Daily Grist, June 29, 2012

Source:
http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2013/mar/21/update_congress_passes_monsanto_protection_act/

Track Bill:
http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr933#overview

Image: author modified Dees Illustration overlay of Capitol

Heather Callaghan is a natural health blogger and food freedom activist. You can see her work at NaturalBlaze.com and ActivistPost.com. Like at Facebook.

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48 comments:

Hide Behind said...

IN THE EARLY DAYS OF AGENT ORANGE FIGHT A PROSECUTEROF SOME DEMONSTRATORS FOUND A DEFENDENT EMPTYING HIS POCKETS OFTHE POWDER AGENT ON HIS DESK. WITH THE WORDS" ITS HARMLESS ISN'T IT"? Contempt of court but no assault charges filed.
JUST saying, That once upon a time in a galaxy far from todays reality.

Anonymous said...

If you own shares in a company that produces and sells lab rats, this would be a good time to sell.

Anonymous said...

where to we sign? People need to know to stop them monsanto are truly evil.

Anonymous said...

I commented on mercola about the emerging diseases Pythiosis a Oomycete disease linked to GMOs and the bacterium Crown Gall disease that is agrobacterium Both of these deadly diseases are in the GMOs and the /so called nontoxic/ sprays . This connection or link could be whats killing the Bats , The bugs , the trees , and the bees Were only seeing the beginning. Animals are becoming infected and cases are showing up in people.

Anonymous said...

Is there a way for people outside America to vote?

Anonymous said...

Monsanto is now a global threat to consumers, both animal and human. The tolerance of the weeds has evolved into a threat because of the stronger additional herbicides needed. Round-Up ready crops are a hazard and grazing cattle after harvest on the fields cause harm to their digestive systems and embryos. Evil is definitely the word to describe the Global attack by Monsanto.

Anonymous said...

I agree....WHERE DO WE SIGN. I can share stuff on Facebook etc...but if you want support make it easy for the normal dork to add their name to a petition. thanks Matt

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a reference to the actual bill in question? I really want to know what legislatures are for this atrocity.

Anonymous said...

I know someone who has done construction work on a home that belongs to a monsanto family in Iowa. They afford a house thousands of square feet that houses an indoor pool, tennis court,theater, golf course, and more, yes, all INDOORS, as well as heated sidewalks and driveway! Nice living at others expense in so many ways.

Anonymous said...

This really needs to be stopped before it can get any worse, in the mean time I think that the farmers affected by lawsuits pertaining to Monsanto GM invasion should put together counter lawsuits for trespassing and biological warfare

Anonymous said...

ALL legislation can be rescinded. Monsanto's day of reckoning is coming. Mankind will convict and execute those responsible for deaths of consumers - China will lead the way in these enforcements, and international warrants will be issued and served by The Hague and Interpol. Monsanto executives will not be able to avoid the inevitable. You purposely and knowingly kill; you pay with your life.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Congress has passed this (as of March 22) and it now sits on Obama's desk. Call the White House to try and stop it now. http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/call/Monsanto_declares_war_on_America/

sapien said...

So where is Ron Paul to do another filibusterer when we really need him??? Damn...

Anonymous said...

This crap does not belong in a continuing resolution, which is defined by wiki as:

A continuing resolution is a type of appropriations legislation used by the United States Congress to fund government agencies if a formal appropriations bill has not been signed into law by the end of the Congressional fiscal year. The legislation takes the form of a joint resolution, and provides funding for existing federal programs at current, reduced, or expanded levels.

Its purpose is to keep EXISTING programs from being interrupted, not for passing new legislation that wouldn't pass in the light of day if legislators had to sign their names to it.

Anonymous said...

http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/2013/mar/13/stop_the_monsanto_protection_act_now/ - Sign the petition.

Anonymous said...

Sick as this is, its a done deal. It was from the beginning. The phrase "bend over and grab your toes" goes back a ways. A little fight can be won, here or there, but when it gets down to anything important, the 99+% lose. Have a nice day, Rob

Anonymous said...

This is a never ending story isn't it?
The forces of deception are constantly at work, trying to get away with something bad.

All the while, the good people just want to stay safe, health, and secure. But, the good people cannot expect those that want to start anarchy at the top of the shit pile...to ever listen to their concerns.

Such a disappointing lot these, "elitists" are. Never worked a real workday in their entire useless life. They had everything handed to them....(actually sounds like elite Welfare to me).

Always had the right contacts made. Never had to go without. Never lost a game for any reason. Sounds like a super-boring existence! Sounds like a great reason to do drugs...and they do because they can afford to do them!

Legalized criminal behavior...it's called lobbying for special interests!

Anonymous said...

This will continue until we take our power back. Trouble is... I don't know HOW we could/would/should do that.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of roundup, did you know that wheat is sprayed with it just before it is harvested? This has been going on since 1985. The only good food is organic as everything else is laced with something that causes cancer or other disease.

Think Breads and wheat by-products! There are wheat by-products in some ice cream!

Its a no brainer that the rise of cancer is related to growth hormones and antibiotics. It is not rocket science for anyone with a brain to see that when an animal is fed "food" laced with substances that are not natural for their diet that their will be issues. Only an idiot would continue to eat food laced with such chemicals.

Microbes (parasites) become immune to antibiotics as that is what makes them morph into superbugs that kill.

Natural antibiotics do not cause microbes to morph and become resistant. In my experience they work in a matter of minutes and not days like pharmaceuticals.

Just more reason to not eat franken food!

Anonymous said...

Lets call these GMO nonsense what it really is WMD's Weapons of mass destruction OR WMD Weapons of mass Deception! Hey George W. we found your WMD's

Anonymous said...

I'll just take my new expensive gun and shoot those dam GMO thingy's right between the eyes.
I'm still free, still safe. Just buy a gun and GMO food can't hurt you, honest.

Your friendly neighborhood gun salesman.

5doogs said...

We are being force fed this poison ... that in itself is a crime against humanity and indeed should be treated as such in a world court ... Americans , why are we putting this into our food chain ? If you do nothing now ,if you cannot make some noise , call the whitehouse , your reps. Whoever can make a difference , you deserve the sickness witch comes from consuming these GMOs .... this may be the most important thing to fight against in your lifetime ...do something positive !

John said...

Monsanto, possibly the most hated and despised corporation on the face of the earth.

Anonymous said...

Food without nutrients = empty calories = obesity epidemic = vastly higher health care costs. And don't forget the increased risk of cancer!

Anonymous said...


Riders need to be eliminated!

They are merely a stealthy tool of corruption.

Anonymous said...

Well, what can we expect from a chemical corporation that invented saccharin (Pink artifical sweetner), aspartame (Nutra-sweet brand), agent orange and that Round Up weed killer? Monsanto is a poison producing company that only wants to profit off all of our deaths. It is very sad that our so called "American" Government is doing everything in their power to make it easier for this evil company to do it's bidding! Wow! This seems like they are trying to kill us all. Maybe because they really are!

Anonymous said...

Quite simple folks, kickstart a project to gm bugs that only eat monsonto products

Hide Behind said...

You are no more than dead meat walking; chemicly lobotomized and neutered you protest with form letters petitions, handwringing and circles of mentally masturbating puppets by bloggers who keep you in their grasping hands for yheir own needed cash cows.
You get yuppy out of work and out house lawyers that. Keep within all the proven giidelinnes to ulyimate failures.
Sad what has become of americans that are no longer of any use to themselves.
THE times are such when all are afraid to "say let alone do" what all except the professional bloggers saw. What not to do.
Oh what the hell roleplaying and games are whatever. Pass as action.


Anonymous said...

At least some of us can spell and continue trying.
0/2

djohnston said...

"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 pretty much says it all. Congress is populated by corporate paid shills. They no longer answer to their constituents. Obama is the new American dictator.

Hide Behind said...

A child 5 or 6 years from now, maybe tens or thousands more in the years to come later, will not give a damn that you knew well how to spell.
What will you tell them; That you used environmentaly friendly paper and non toxic inks to protest with.
I Know a man older than I by over a score of years that greeted each train, or at least many of them that carried people to the Concentration camp.
His job was to set the new arrivals minds at ease as he helped direct men and boys into his lines while others directed woman girls and babys' into another. And for this he was relatively well fed and treated by the Soldiers who ran the camp.
He used to tell, although unbidden by me, of those days and how he survived and one wanted. He set his mind at ease was that during those years he never asked the men and boys if they were of his religion..
I was there when another group of survivors asked him to speak, and one asked him did he regret or feel guilt at surviving and he answered, Only when they lost the war and he had to lie to his grandchildren. When asked."What did you do in the war Grampa pa?.
What will you tell yours?
For make no mistake, this is a war.

Anonymous said...

The only way to voice your opinion with these sycophants is to do what the Hungarians did, burn down all the GMO fields
http://www.politicolnews.com/hungary-burns-all-monsanto-gmo-corn-fields/

Alice Walker said...

This kind of stuff is such a joke. Just one more example of who really runs this country. How in the world can we have a court system if legally there are people and corporations who aren't even subject to it?

Anonymous said...

doesnt surprise me, one more step into full blown communism in the USA. Obama is a pawn he does what he's told.

Anonymous said...

I grew up farming and have been around it my entire life... not once have I ever seen wheat being sprayed right before harvest. Not sure where you got that info, but its wrong. Number 1: roundup is expensive. Why spend money spraying a crop that's ready for harvest? There is no benefit in that...only cost. Number 2: wheat ready for harvest is easily shattered. Why would farmers drive a spray rig through a field to spray roundup while shattering a good share of the crop? By the way, roundup kills wheat.

Hide Behind said...

AND WHAT ARE WE?

Anonymous said...

I would not be a bit surprised if actions like this eventually resulted in the burning of entire fields of Monsanto products and their seed operations too. Maybe even buildings.

After all, when citizens can't get any justice in the courts, they take it in the streets. And they'll have it on the county roads too.

A corporation may buy 'protection' from the law as they apparently just did, but they can't buy protection from angry citizens.

Anonymous said...

Anybody who destroys Monsanto property will most likely receive the strongest penalty the law has to offer. But if enough people were to band together, things might turn out differently. Don't let the justice system turn you into their next example of what happens when you fight the system. Don't go it alone; go en masse. (Just trying to think the way a community organizer might.)

Anonymous said...

I thought corporations were people now. Does this mean that there can be no more lawsuits filed against anyone? As far as steps you can take, I have a couple to add to the list above. Grow your own food in your own yard or a community garden near you. Work with your friends and neighbors to share an area to grow your own. Start buying from local farmers, or from local markets. I live in the city, have friends in the country where we grow our own, even have a dozen chickens that are laying 6-10 eggs a day!! I knew nothing about growing my own food a couple years ago, there's no turning back now. I never knew what a real tomato tasted like until I grew my own. I also know how to can my excess fruits and veggies. It's really not that hard, take the risk and you and your family will be rewarded. Also looking to start a honey bee colony this year near the garden, fingers crossed.

Anonymous said...

No wonder homeland security bought all those bullets they are trying to discourage resistance with a large image that they have all the power and resistance is futile sounds like the borg are here!!

Anonymous said...

It looks like there are a couple hyperlinks in blue, where there's no website included, but one talks about a form & another talks about stopping the rider becoming permanent.... The hyperlinks w websites look to be more reports...anyway I'm going to try the other two & hopefully these people will just add the two petitions in so we can easily add our names to both quickly w/o trying so hard to figure out where they are!! All I know is this is fucking ridiculous, I just want Monsanto completely gone!! We're all going to hv to find ways to grow our own food!! In the meantime, we hv to show our support by buying non gmo, just do not give a dime to these mofus!!

Anonymous said...

Btw, aspartame is not (splenda).....aspartame is completely different.... But what Splenda is is Sucralose, its scientific name... So, if packaging is trying to sneak it in on you, they hope you will not recognize the word sucralose..... I agree they are ALL bad, but you also forgot High Fructose Corn Syrup.... All of these artificial sweeteners reek havoc upon our systems.... Aspartame is never fully excreted from our bodies, that means it stays inside us indefinitely!! Everything else our bodies also can't absorb or break down well so it overloads our entire digestive tracts & finally the liver!! Since the liver is what cleans our blood, our bodies it is getting overloaded to the degree that in most adults it is constantly swollen inside us & just can't do everything we are putting on it to do!! Also, honey is processed w other things added if it does not say RAW!! Agave nectar is also a processed sweetener trying to pull the wool over our eyes as well!! The only sweetener that is natural & doesn't hv health risks is Stevia!! I for one prefer to use either Stevia, raw honey, real cane sugar, or dark brown sugar!! Buy your Stevia from a vit whole food type mom & pop local store, you should get a decent price & help keep them in business!! Plus, you should be able to find Stevia w a natural additive to mask the after taste, bc it does hv a slightly off tasting aftertaste otherwise!! They hv a brand at the grocery store called Truvia, which is Stevia, but I fear it is made by a food giant & not necessarily ok bc of it... This is the way I process info I get, if its by word of informed mouth only its ok, if it has a tv commercial then it is not ok!! You hv to investigate to find things w/o a tv commercial so anyway helps to subscribe to mercola & every other natural organic food site you can, look for them on facebook etc etc !! Hope this helps!! Btw, I love Blue Diamond Vanilla Almond milk!! Everyone know the Silk brand & it was not great, tried it, would only put in smoothies not drink straight or on cereal was gross, but Blue Diamond is fantastic!! I also use every drop where w cows milk i'd waste some, & silk got wasted too even w a long expiration date!! Also, avoid products w soy, most is gmo....most is not fermented which is really bad to ingest.....must know source & how processed before using any soy!! Ok gotta run!!

Anonymous said...

WELLL,they spray cotton before they harvest to drop the leaves,BUT monsanto just got round-up ready wheat approved for weed control same as they use it for soy beans&corn! if you will take a sec. and look at my name you will see the answer!!!!! as always with respect to ALL my fellow human beings! LOOKING4CHE!! VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!

Anonymous said...

Petition against this act...
https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/remove-section-
735-aka-monsanto-protection-act-hr-933/T8QYzYZg

Angel Writer said...

Evil, evil, evil - Monsanto - is just plain evil.
One of these days, some of us are going to have to get out of our comfort zones of false security and rise up. Unfortunately, I almost feel as if it is too late...

Anonymous said...

Obama you stand for nothing, worst president ever

Anonymous said...

Of course wheat is sprayed with chemicals jut before harvest, anyone saying otherwise is just uninformed. The chemical is to dry the wheat so it cannot be damaged by early frost. You and me and millions of others will all die a horrible painful cancer death so the farmer can keep his head above water while the multinational food companies make billions.

Dean Cook said...

Make Monsanto Obsolete
http://igg.me/at/end-herbicides/x/3583348

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