Lokfolk লোকফোক forum of folk লোক tribal আদিবাসী culture সংস্কৃতি of West Bengal পশ্চিমবঙ্গ, বাংলা. LOKFOLK is Bengal বাংলা India's ভারতের traditional পারম্পরিক knowledge system জ্ঞানভাণ্ডার, history ইতিহাস, Indigenous technology প্রযুক্তি. We have two mass bodies গনসংগঠন Bongiyo Paromporik Kaaru O ও Bastro Shilpi Sangho; Bongiyo Paromporik Aavikaar Shilpi Sangho. Journal পত্রিকা, PARAM, পরম. Picture - KaaliKaach কালিকাচ, Dinajpur দিনাজপুর, Madhumangal মধুমঙ্গল Malakar মালাকার
Friday, October 18, 2013
Monsanto Protection Act Signed By Obama, GMO Bill “Written By Monsanto” Signed Into Law
Sec. 735. In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection Actis or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary's evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a timely manner: Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary's authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act.
The Monsanto Protection Act, essentially both written by and benefiting Monsanto Corporation, has been signed into law by United States President Barack Obama. The infamous Monsanto Corporation will benefit greatly and directly from the bill, as it essentially gives companies that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds immunity to the federal courts, among other things.
The bill states that even if future research shows that GMOs or GE seeds cause significant health problems, cancer, etc, anything, that the federal courts no longer have any power to stop their spread, use, or sales.
There are of course arguments to be made that not enough research has been done yet to accurately determine the effects that GMOs have on human and animal health (though the research already done should make you stop and think). This bill sidesteps that completely though, and simply states that even if there are problems, that the federal courts can no longer do anything about it. And this bill is now law, thanks to President Obama and the U.S. Congress.
Some other interesting things to keep in mind:
- The bill was apparently written by freshman Sen. Roy Blunt in collusion with Monsanto, with them helping to craft the exact language of the document.
- “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.”
- Many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the “Monsanto Protection Act” was a part of the spending bill that they were voting on.
- Obama had no problem signing it into law (not really a surprise, he’s been rather soft on GMO policy).
- The bill will only remain in effect for a limited time, but it’s a bad sign. With the ease that this bill passed, it’ll be interesting to see what future bills look like.
As the Daily News asks, “Who’s more powerful, the world’s largest producer of genetically modified crops or the U.S. government?”
“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 Missouri-based Monsanto Company from litigation.”
“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],” as the IB Times notes, “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.”
When taken in context though, GMOs are really just another in a long line of environmentally damaging practices that people have done for short term gain/profit. From the large-scaledeforestation of the world’s old-growth forests, to sustenance farming, to modern imported-fertilizer/pesticide/herbicide/fossil-fuel dependent industrial agricultural, the trend has been consistent, GMOs are just another in that line of attempts to temporarily maintain/raise crop yields. Regardless of the type of agriculture or the location, there are limits to how long any land can remain productive, applying imported fertilizers, or utilizing GMOs, only provides, at best, a temporary halt to the land’s transition to non-productive “wasteland”, and to desertification.