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the Organic Review: President Obama Signs “Monsanto Protection Act”
by Ali Papademetriou
When the Senate passed its budget proposal, the Senate Continuing Resolution (HR 933) last week, the infamous “Monsanto rider” that anti-GMO advocacy organizations have been kicking screaming over for months now, passed along with it.
As SLN reported earlier this week, section 735 of HR 933 known as the “Farmer Assurance Provision” may seem like just a harmless agricultural segment of the spending bill. Horrifically though, the submissive name is a disguise to cloak its true identity: “The Monsanto Protection Act”. While wading in the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is chaired by Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Monsanto rider was quietly sneaked into the spending bill.
Many were terrified that the rider flew through the House and Senate, considering it would grant the world’s largest genetically modified seed producer legal immunity to plant and sell GM crops regardless of a court ruling that the seeds were harmful to the environment or humans.
On Tuesday night, President Obama signed HR 933 into law. This means that Monsanto Corporation now has the freedom to reign without the regulation of the federal government. Of course, it is not the responsibility of the federal government to control the food system, though. Clearly, its involvement has developed frightening outcomes – Just look at how powerful Monsanto is politically.
Not only does this make it unfair to other companies who are not free from federal restraint as Monsanto now is, but also it proves how dishonest our president really is.
While campaigning for president as Senator Obama in 2007, he stated in a campaign speech, “Here’s what I’ll do as president. I’ll immediately implement country of origin labeling. We’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying.” Many were astounded when he appointed former Monsanto figureheads Michael Taylor and Tom Vilsack to his agricultural committee when elected.
Clearly Mr. President does not favor the wishes of the American people and does not know how to keep a promise.