Like the B-horror-movie tagline, says “They’re baaaaack . . .” The hallmark of any great creature feature is a monster who pops out when you least expect it. Enter Monsanto. Fresh on the heels of its victory in seeing passage of what has been dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act,” which shields the company from federal courts, we were lulled into the false sense of security that the fiend’s appetite had been sated. Then without notice it sprang from the shadows.
This time, through Congressman Steve King, Monsanto is back with the Monsanto Protection Act 2.0 and rest assured that the sequel is every bit as terrifying as the original. King offered the amendment to the Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA) which, in his own words, “prohibits states from enacting laws that place conditions on the means of production for agricultural goods that are sold within its own borders, but are produced in other states.” To translate, the King amendment would use federal law to prohibit states from passing their own GMO labeling laws. But why?
A key component of the popular culture’s belief that we have grown too litigious as a society is the issue of safety warnings or, more specifically, safety warnings that take time to reinforce the obvious. Nothing did more to spur on popular support for tort reform than the common-sense-defying notion that a McDonald’s customer wouldn’t know that coffee is hot. But now the King Amendment is telling Americans that they don’t have the right to know that they are in fact guinea pigs of Big Agra – placing into their bodies substances which have never before been eaten by humans because these substances did not exist a generation ago. Monsanto was not content with the idea that you could not sue them for consuming these foods, now they don’t even want you to know you are eating them.
We live in a brave new world where science has produced glow-in-the-dark cats and that same technology has set before us frankenfoods for our consumption. Like every Saturday matinee mad scientist, there are shouts that there is no danger in this radical work. “What could possibly go wrong?” The same voices shouted that there was nothing to fear in Saccharin and Red Dye No. 2 and cigarettes.
While we cannot yet say that any specific GMO is too dangerous to consume, studies are raising questions about GMO corn. If King and Monsanto have their way, there will never be any definitive answers and you will not have a choice about what you eat. This is the scariest installment yet.