Obama Signs Monsanto Protection Act: Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

Obama Signs Monsanto Protection Act: Politics Makes Strange Bedfellows

Does this really surprise you? 

If you go back and do your homework both Republican and Democrat administrations have had several former Monsanto minions in key government positions.

Obama campaigned that he would support national food labeling of whether GMOs were in the food product.  Has that occurred?  One of the most telling actions by Obama was appointing Michael Taylor, former Monsanto attorney and VP of Public Relations again to the FDA.  It was Michael Taylor, when Bill Clinton appointed him to the FDA, who gave us GMOs without proper studies.  Just take your pen, do some editing by using the “like or similar” language so his former boss could bystep the traditional testing process.

With this growing merger between state and mega corporations being in the same bed, never listen to a politican’s words.  Look at his or her track record. 

Every Senator or Congressman who supported the Monsanto Protection Act should be voted out of office, regardless of their track record on other issues.  If Monsanto can influence them, then how can you trust them to support consumers on any issue?

Think about it!–No Name Attorney

Obama signs ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ written by Monsanto-sponsored senator

 RT, March 28,2013                                                                    

Barack Obama-monsanto
President Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowsky)

 United States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.

On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the California-based Monsanto Company from litigation.

With the president’s signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers.

In light of approval from the House and Senate, more than 250,000 people signed a petition asking the president to veto the spending bill over the biotech rider tacked on, an item that has since been widely referred to as the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

“But Obama ignored [the petition],” IB Times’ Connor Sheets writes, “instead choosing to sign a bill that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place, explains a little more thoroughly just how dangerous the rider is now that biotech companies are allowed to bypass judicial scrutiny. Up until it was signed, he writes, “the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer.”

If the president’s signature isn’t all that surprising, though, consider the genesis of the bill itself. According to an article published Monday in the New York Daily News, US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) “worked with Monsanto to craft the language in the bill.”

 Sen. Blunt defended his bill to the News, shrugging off suggestions that it set a startling precedent that will affect all US agriculture by firing back, “What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it. But it is only a one-year protection in that bill.”

One year could be all it takes to cause catastrophic damage to the environment by allowing laboratory-produced organisms to be planted into the earth without oversight. Under the Monsanto Protection Act, health concerns that arise in the immediate future involving the planting of GMO crops won’t be able to be heard by a judge. Blunt, a junior senator that has held elected office since the late ‘90s, has good reason to whitewash the very bill he helped craft. The Center for Responsive Politics notes that Sen. Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto to go towards his campaign committee between 2008 and 2012. The Money Monocle website adds that Blunt has been the largest Republican Party recipient of Monsanto funding as of late.

On the lawmaker’s official website, a statement explains a little more as to why he favored HR 933 and the rider within it.

“As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Senator Blunt played a vital role in writing the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This legislation maintained vital support for research and extension at land grant universities, capacity building grants for non-land grant colleges of agriculture, and competitive funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The bill also included funding for conservation activities, housing and business loan programs for rural communities, domestic and international nutrition programs.”

Read More Here…

Time to Call Senators: Speak Out Against Monsanto Protection Act

Time to Call Senators:  Speak Out Against Monsanto Protection Act

The Monsanto Protection Act is in both houses of Congress.  Monsanto supporters put the provision as a rider on pending Appropriations legislation.  This rider, which could become legislation with a positive vote, puts Monsanto above the law.  The judicial system would lose its power to question or rule on their activities when they violate regulatory provisions or statutes in introducing new GMOs into the marketplace.

You and I have to obey traffic laws, criminal laws, civil laws, etc. or we face penalties, judgments or possibly incarceration.  Can you explain to me why a special sub-segment of an industry should not face what we face?  Is that fairness or justice?

Apparently the vote in the Senate for what’s been labeled the Monsanto Protection Act will happen on next Wednesday, March 27, 2013.  Please contact your two Senators and tell them you want them to support the Tester Amendment 74 regarding the Monsanto Rider.

If you think your phone call is a waste of time, you’re wrong!  In the early portion of my career I worked in two Congressmen’s offices.  Congressional staff members collect number of phone calls on pending legislation (support or against) and report them to their boss.

Here is a list of all U. S. Senators, their state and phone numbers:  U.S. Senator Phone Directory.  If you want to be effective, then only call the Senators from your state.  Even if you can get though to the staff of the other Senators, they probably will count your call in their talley.  –No Name Attorney

 

Action Alert:  We Have 1 Week Or Less to Stop Genetically Engineered Foods and Destruction of the Separation of Powers

Posted on March 20, 2013 by WashingtonsBlog

 Do We Have a Right to Know If Our Food Has Been Genetically Modified?Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Bill Would Strip Courts of Power … And Push Genetically Modified Foods Onto Our Plates

America has been decimated by the breakdown of the separation of powers between different branches of government. For example, the executive branch is negotiating laws in secret – and grabbing powers – without telling Congress.And life-and-death decisions about who the government labels an “enemy combatant” and assassinates are being kept away from the judges altogether.At the same time, government agencies like the FDA go to great lengths to cover up the potential health damage from genetically modified foods, and to keep the consumer in the dark about what they’re really eating.

Remember, genetically engineered foods have been linked to obesity, cancer, liver failure, infertility and all sorts of other diseases (brief, must-watch videos here and here).Things are about to get a lot worse within the next week … unless we stand up and say “NO!”Specifically, a law has been snuck into the Agriculture Appropriations bill – which will be approved by March 27th – which would destroy the separation of powers by stripping courts of the power to challenge genetically modified foods.How?The “Monsanto Rider” (section 735) uses “farmer-friendly” happy talk, but is an iron-fisted ploy to allow GMO crops to be planted even if a court has ruled that planting them is illegal.If the United States Department of Agriculture – which suffered “regulatory capture” by the big food companies decades ago – approves a genetically modified food without any testing, a court can enjoin (i.e. halt) production of that food until testing occurs.Yet the Monsanto Rider would strip the courts of power, and would allow GMO crops to be planted and put in our food … no matter what a judge has ruled.As the Weston Price Foundation notes:

If a GMO crop approval was shown to violate the law and require further analysis of its harmful impacts (as several courts have concluded in recent years, for example with GMO alfalfa and GMO sugar beets) this provision would override any court-mandated caution and allow continued planting and commercialization while further review takes place.Here’s a good summary of the bill.

Monsanto Protection Act and Your Food Costs

Monsanto Protection Act:  What Will This Do To Food Costs?

Let’s set aside for a moment you have no opinion (or even support) that  genetically modified or genetically engineered foods are a good or bad thing thing.  Let’s also assume that you think Monsanto is even a good corporate citizen or you have no opinion about them.

Monsanto and its colleagues are lobbying the US Senate for a special provision that will make them above the law and hard for the US government to do any regulatory supervision.

Is this wise to give a handful of corporations a choke-hold over our food supply, regardless of whether they are angelic, demonic or indifferent in their corporate conduct?

Giving favoritism or special laws in favor of a few is how monopolies happen.  And monopolies destroy true price finding.  Initially they might lower price to get a foothold on their sector.  They do this in part to squeeze out competition.  Once they think they have a centralized roll, the main players, then they use that to raise prices within that sector.

Let’s look at the current economic mess which in part was created by the Wall Street.  We saw (and are feeling) the harm when a few gets centralized power over an industry segment.  In the case of the financial fiasco caused by the Wall Street liar loans, derivatives mess, etc., now our U.S. Attorney General told a U.S. Senate Committee recently that they are too large to prosecute for their alleged crimes because of the harm that might do to our economy and the world’s economy.

What do you think will happen to the cost of the world’s food supply if Monsanto and minions have things so deregulated that they are their own government and above the law?

 

Monsanto, Dow Chemical and Syngenta now control 53 percent of the global commercial seed market.  Although Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer and Dow were under antitrust investigation into possible anti-competitive practices in the US seed market (soy, cotton and corn)  since 2010, last year the Obama administration just quietly dropped that investigation.  Do you think that helped out the family farmer?

Do you think that it is somewhat hypocritical that the opponents (Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Chemical and cohorts) of California Prop 37 Food Referendum, who claimed (arguably falsely) that food labeling would substantially raise food prices during a time of economic troubles are now trying to do actions that will help them gain more of a market share and influence food prices?

So be aware of what is going on from just an economic aspect with our food supply. Monsanto and colleagues are not asking for this “special status” unless it means more of an economic advantage for them.  Just because they’re upset that a federal judge held them to the law (in the judge’s opinion) is no reason for them to be given royalty status or be placed above the law.  If they don’t like the judge’s ruling then appeal it.  That what citizens and other corporations have to do.  Whereas the little man or small business can’t afford an appeal, Monsanto and cohorts are far from being paupers.

Consider signing a petition to the US Senate which objects to Monsanto and cohorts getting special privileges that would allow them to have more power in the marketplace and place them above the law, not within the system.  Read Mr. Gucciardi’s excellent reporting on this topic below.–No Name Attorney

 

New ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ Gives Monsanto Power Over US Government

by

March 14th, 2013
Updated 03/14/2013 at 4:47 am

monsantoprotectionact 322x201 New Monsanto Protection Act Gives Monsanto Power Over US Government

Photo from www.NaturalSociety.com

There truly is no rest for the wicked, and Monsanto is at war once again against health conscious consumers with the latest ‘Monsanto Protection Act‘, managing to sneak wording into the latest Senate legislation that would give them blanket immunity from any USDA action regarding the potential dangers of their genetically modified creations while under review. The USDA would be unable to act against any and all new GMO crops that were suspected to be wreaking havoc on either human health or the environment.

It’s a legislative weapon that could be passed as early as next week if we don’t gather enough support to force our Senators to eliminate the section. It all started in the late hours of Monday night, when lobbyists working for the Monsanto-fronted biotechnology industry managed to slide a ‘rider’ (through the deceptively worded Farmer Assurance Provision, Sec. 735) into the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill that is currently on the table of the Senate.

A massive petition to stop what has been labeled as the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ has been launched by Food Democracy Now, detailing what could come if the legislation is signed into law within the coming days or weeks:

If approved, the Monsanto Protection Act would force the USDA to allow continued planting of any GMO crop under court review, essentially giving backdoor approval for any new genetically engineered crops that could be potentially harmful to human health or the environment.

Monsanto Protection Act Trumps US Government

Federal courts would be powerless to regulate the sale and even cultivation of illegal and dangerous GMO crops, succumbing instead to the power of the biotech industry and Monsanto. The same threat we faced last summer during the initial emergence of this act. During that time, we saw major groups assemble against the act, from national farm institutions to food safety titans. The Center for Food Safety, the National Family Farm Coalition, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Sierra Club, and the Union of Concerned Scientists all came together to speak out against the incognito bombshell slipped into the 2012 Farm Bill and the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill.

Read more: