Missouri’s Monsanto Protection Act: A wolf in cloned sheep’s clothing

IB Times is reporting that:

“President Barack Obama signed a spending billHR 933, into law on Tuesday that includes language that has food and consumer advocates and organic farmers up in arms over their contention that the so-called “Monsanto Protection Act” is a giveaway to corporations that was passed under the cover of darkness.

There’s a lot being said about it, but here are five terrifying facts about the Farmer Assurance Provision — Section 735 of the spending bill — to get you acquainted with the reasons behind the ongoing uproar:

1.) The “Monsanto Protection Act” effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. The advent of genetically modified seeds — which has been driven by the massive Monsanto Company — and their exploding use in farms across America came on fast and has proved a huge boon for Monsanto’s profits.

But many anti-GMO folks argue there have not been enough studies into the potential health risks of this new class of crop. Well, now it appears that even if those studies are completed and they end up revealing severe adverse health effects related to the consumption of genetically modified foods, the courts will have no ability to stop the spread of the seeds and the crops they bear.

2.) The provision’s language was apparently written in collusion with Monsanto. Lawmakers and companies working together to craft legislation is by no means a rare occurrence in this day and age. But the fact that Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, actually worked with Monsanto on a provision that in effect allows them to keep selling seeds, which can then go on to be planted, even if it is found to be harmful to consumers, is stunning. It’s just another example of corporations bending Congress to their will, and it’s one that could have dire risks for public health in America.

3.) Many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the “Monsanto Protection Act” even existed within the bill they were voting on. HR 933 was a spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown and ensuring that the federal government would continue to be able to pay its bills. But the Center for Food Safety maintains that many Democrats in Congress were not even aware that the provision was in the legislation:

“In this hidden backroom deal, Sen. [Barbara] Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement. “This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Sen. Mikulski or the Democrat Majority in the Senate.”

4.) The President did nothing to stop it, either. On Tuesday, Obama signed HR 933 while the rest of the nation was fixated on gay marriage, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument concerning California’s Proposition 8. But just because most of the nation and the media were paying attention to gay marriage doesn’t mean that others were not doing their best to express their opposition to the “Monsanto Protection Act.” In fact, more than 250,000 voters signed a petition opposing the provision. And Food Democracy Now protesters even took their fight straight to Obama, protesting in front of the White House against Section 735 of the bill. He signed it anyway.

5.) It sets a terrible precedent. Though it will only remain in effect for six months until the government finds another way to fund its operations, the message it sends is that corporations can get around consumer safety protections if they get Congress on their side. Furthermore, it sets a precedent that suggests that court challenges are a privilege, not a right.”

TruthFarmer.Com reports that Representative Jason Smith has proposed an amendment to the Constitution of the State of Missouri that would protect “modern farming”, a version of this amendment has also been proposed to the Missouri Senate.

At first glance HJR’s 11 and 7 as well as SJR 22 appear to be proposed constitutional amendments in the State of Missouri that would protect farmers stating:

“Be it resolved by the House of Representatives, the Senate concurring therein:

That at the next general election to be held in the state of Missouri, on Tuesday next following the first Monday in November, 2014, or at a special election to be called by the governor for that purpose, there is hereby submitted to the qualified voters of this state, for adoption or rejection, the following amendment to article I of the Constitution of the state of Missouri:

Section A. Article I, Constitution of Missouri, is amended by adding one new section, to be known as section 35, to read as follows:

Section 35. That agriculture which provides food, energy, health benefits, and security is the foundation and stabilizing force of Missouri’s economy. To protect this vital sector of Missouri’s economy, the right of farmers and ranchers to engage in modern farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state. No state law shall be enacted which abridges the right of farmers and ranchers to employ agricultural technology and modern and traditional livestock production and ranching practices, unless enacted by the General Assembly.

Section B. Pursuant to Chapter 116, RSMo, and other applicable constitutional provisions and laws of this state allowing the General Assembly to adopt ballot language for the submission of a joint resolution to the voters of this state, the official ballot title of the amendment proposed in Section A shall be as follows:

“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended to ensure:

      •  That the right of Missouri citizens to employ modern farming and ranching practices and equipment shall not be infringed”.”

This proposed legislation sounds like a good thing but (again citing) TruthFarmer.com notes:

“several scientists have found that certain types of genetic modification actually can silence or activate genes upon exposure. In my estimation, this is some pretty dangerous stuff. Considering the Monsanto Protection Act has just passed into law, and Jason Smith in Missouri is pushing for the Constitutional Amendment to protect “agricultural technology”, I’m deeply concerned about this new revelation.”

It is my belief that Smith’s proposed constitutional amendment, along with the proposed amendment in Missouri’s Senate, is actually an amendment to give Monsanto the ability to both contaminate our food supply (without legal reprisal) and monopolize the market on seeds and farm products.

The Monsanto Protection Act is just as it sounds it would be, an act to protect Monsanto, Smith’s proposed Constitutional amendment and its companion in the Senate will hand the control of Missouri’s farms and agriculture industry over to Monsanto.

I have been informed that this legislation has already been passed in Missouri’s House of Representatives please focus your efforts on convincing members of Missouri’s senate NOT to pass SJR 22- Editor

Find your Missouri Senator

For additional information on Missouri’s Monsanto Protection Act, watch America’s Voice Now with Michael Evans:

About aldermanlacy

I am just an average blue collar American who works hard and tries to be a good dad. I have a passion for history, music and freedom.

One Response to “Missouri’s Monsanto Protection Act: A wolf in cloned sheep’s clothing”

  1. Good article! Thank you for sharing this information. This proposal is on the fast track, so people need to be actively going against this bill. And actually, in speaking to you Senator about it, both HJR 11 and 7 and SJR 22 are viable candidates for passage. The good thing is that as a Constitutional Amendment, it cannot be rolled into an omnibus bill.

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