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Clay Rossi
Clay Rossi
Attorney • (800) 574-4332

Will Monsanto Protection Act Prevail?

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The war for transparency on genetically modified foods and crops may be at an end with disclosure losing and Big Agra winning in bold fashion. Last Friday, the Untied States Senate passed Continuing Resolution spending bill – HR 933 – with its Section 735 which has been dubbed “the Monsanto Protection Act.”

The Monsanto Protection Act – otherwise known as the “biotech rider” – would “require the USDA to approve the harvest and sale of crops from genetically modified seed even if a court has ruled the environmental studies on the crop were inadequate.” In essence, courts would be robbed of any ability to halt the use of GMO crops even if there are questions concerning the safety of these crops to consumers and the environment. One advocacy group, the Center for Food Safety, aptly called the rider “an unprecedented attack on U.S. judicial review of agency actions.”

If GMO is so safe, why has the banner of “frivolous lawsuits” been waived to oppose GMO labeling? If GMO is so safe, why the Monsanto Protection Act? If GMO is so safe, why not transparency?

Unless President Obama acts to veto the bill, a dangerous precedent will be set that will extend way beyond Monsanto, Big Agra, or GMO. As the “first olive out of the jar,” the biotech rider will stand for the proposition that big business can lobby for unprecedented levels of immunity. If consumers aren’t allowed to know about when they are consuming GMO, if lawyers can’t investigate the possible dangers on behalf of their clients, and if judges aren’t even free to stop the planting of GMO crops when there are scientific questions as to its safety then Big Agra has effectively become “above the law.”

It is unlikely if the Monsanto Protection Act is signed into law that this precedent will not stop with Big Agra. Any sector of American big business with enough clout to lobby the necessary numbers of legislators will seek manumission from the ordinary juridical restraints that apply to them.

It seems that in corporate America “too big to fail” has now been transformed into “too big to stop”?

2 Comments

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  1. jon rappoport says:
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    question: what happens when the bill obama just signed into law expires in six months? what will happen to the gmo rider? will it then need to be passed again by congress to be in effect?

  2. Ryry says:
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    This may help big business, but the people who really are going to benefit the most are farmers. I know because I am one. In 20 years we have seen bushels per acre double, and why now are people worried about genetically modified crops? The biggest genetic modification outside of glyphosphate tolerance which came in the 90’s was the change dual factored corn which you all have been consuming for 70 years now. We are making corn now that uses less to create more.