'Monsanto Protection Act' to grant biotech industry total immunity over GM crops?
By: Jonathan Benson
While millions of Americans were busy celebrating freedom from tyranny during the recent Independence Day festivities, Monsanto was actively trying to thwart that freedom with new attacks on health freedom. It turns out that the most evil corporation in the world has quietly attached riders to both the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill that would essentially force the federal government to approve GMOs at the request of biotechnology companies, and prohibit all safety reviews of GMOs from having any real impact on the GMO approval process.
The Alliance for Natural Health – USA (ANH-USA), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), and several other health freedom advocacy groups have been actively drawing attention to these stealth attacks in recent days, and urging Americans to rise up and oppose them now before it is too late. If we fail to act now as a single, unified community devoted to health freedom, in other words, America’s agricultural future could literally end up being controlled entirely by the biotech industry, which will have full immunity from the law.
You can fight back now against these threats to food freedom by visiting:
Full exemption from the law for the biotech industry
Authored by Congressmen and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Related Agencies Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill rider, known as the “farmer assurance provision” (Section 733), specifically outlines that the Secretary of Agriculture will be required, upon request, to “immediately” grant temporary approval or deregulation of a GM crop, even if that crop’s safety is in question or under review.
In other words, if the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is strong-armed into approving a new GM crop that is later legally challenged in court (which is basically what happened for GM sugar beets and GM alfalfa), the Secretary of Agriculture, under the provisions of the Kingston rider, will be required to approve the cultivation and sale of that crop anyway, even if a higher court has already ordered a moratorium on that crop.
“A so-called ‘Monsanto rider,’ quietly slipped into the multi-billion dollar FY 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, would require — not just allow, but require — the Secretary of Agriculture to grant a temporary permit for the planting or cultivation of a genetically engineered crop, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is completed,” wrote Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins in a recent piece for AlterNet.
“All the farmer or the biotech producer has to do is ask, and the questionable crops could be released into the environment where they could potentially contaminate conventional or organic crops and, ultimately, the nation’s food supply.”
You can read the rider for yourself, which begins on page 86, Sec. 733 of the following document:
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) introduces amendment to kill ‘Monsanto Protection Act’
According to the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations website, the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, with the Kingston rider, was already approved by the committee on June 19. (http://appropriations.house.gov) But it will move next to the House floor, where debate and further amendment proposals will take place — this means there is still time to fight it.
One amendment being proposed by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Or.) seeks to altogether eliminate the Kingston rider, which has now been dubbed by the health freedom community as the Monsanto Protection Act, from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill. You can urge your Congressmen to support Rep. DeFazio’s amendment to kill the Monsanto Protection Act by emailing (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25711.cfm) or calling (http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25778.cfm) them.
Committee Farm Bill riders would destroy safeguards that protect farmers, environment from untested GMOs
Another serious food freedom threat exists in the House Agriculture Committee’s discussion draft of the contentious 2012 Farm Bill, where Monsanto et al. have inserted key language, via corrupt legislators of course, that will dismantle existing federal law as it pertains to regulating GM crops, and replace it with a free-for-all system where biotech giants are basically free to grow and market whatever GMOs they please without resistance or legal challenge.
“Deliberately buried in the House Agriculture Committee’s voluminous discussion draft of the 2012 Farm Bill, these significant changes to the Plant Protection Act (PPA) — one of the few statutes that regulate GE crops — will counter the gains that have been made to protect our food supply and the farmers who grow it,” writes Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director of the Center for Food Safety (CFS), one of the key groups fighting back against this Monsanto sneak attack.
“The provisions (Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014) would force the rushed commercialization of GE crops, create a backdoor approval for Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ corn and eliminate any meaningful review of the impacts of these novel crops” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com).
These provisions would explicitly outlaw any review of the environmental or human impacts of GM crops under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), or any other environmental laws as well. Only the USDA would be allowed to review the safety of GM crops, and this review process would be so severely neutered that the USDA would essentially operate as a formal “rubber stamp” for approving the biotech industry’s offerings.
Both sets of riders threaten to eliminate every remaining semblance of regulatory power that “We the People” have over our own food system. If passed, these riders will abolish virtually all remaining protections over the American food supply, and allow Monsanto and the rest of Big Ag to completely control what is grown, and how it is grown.
There is still time to fight back against these heinous threats to food freedom, but swift action is necessary to stop Congress from hammering the last few nails into the coffin of American food freedom.
Be sure to contact your Congressmen right now and demand their support for Rep. Peter DeFazio’s amendment to eliminate the Monsanto rider from the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill, as well as their opposition to Sections 10011, 10013 and 10014 of the 2012 Farm Bill:
Sources for this article include:
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