Is Our Food Supply Less Safe After the Monsanto Protection Rider Passed in Congress?
By Jane Tunks Demel on March 30, 2013
BlogHer Original Post
The issue of food safety is becoming more and more important to the American public, as proved by the outrage last week when Congress passed the Monsanto Protection Rider.
My social media feed blew up with protestations. It was full of tweets like:
— Martin Hume (@martinhume) March 30, 2013
There was also the often retweeted Huffington post headline that declared “Monsanto Teams Up with Congress to Shred the Constitution.”
As with everything involving Congress and lobbyists, the truth is hard to untangle, especially since the so-called Monsanto Protection Rider was virtually ignored by the mainstream media like the New York Times and network news broadcasts.
Photo illustration of genetically modified produce via Shutterstock
Here are some facts:
Last week, the Monsanto Protection Rider was secretly attached to a federal funding bill to prevent the government from being shut down. So instead of Obama selling out the American public by making a backroom deal with Monsanto, it was Congress who attached this rider to a must-pass bill. If Obama had refused to sign the funding bill, the government would have ground to a halt. And since U.S. Presidents don’t have line-item veto power, he was left with little choice but to sign it.
Not only was the Monsanto Protection Rider, more formally known as section 735, attached to the must-pass HR 933 (Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act), but it was attached anonymously. Yes, apparently, your democratically elected congressperson can secretly attach riders to bills. In this case, the rider was attached in the Senate Appropriations Committee. Of course, it’s likely that the anonymous congressperson has a cozy relationship with pro-GMO lobbyists.
Depending on which news source you read, Monsanto either does (Huffington Post) or doesn’t (NPR) already have these protections, as the weakened USDA now has less resources to police the biotech industry.
Whatever your political leanings, most of us can agree that we want the seeds used to grow our food to be environmentally safe before being planted and harvested. The way things stand now, and what the Monsanto Protection Rider further cements, is that biotech companies can still sell their seeds even after a judicial ruling stopping the planting of a genetically modified crop.
How do you feel about the passage of this rider? Do you feel our food supply is less safe? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
More Like This
Recent Posts by Jane Tunks Demel
Most Popular on BlogHer
Save time, money and space with the FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System! AND it keeps food fresh up to 5x longer! Read our bloggers' experiences with the FoodSaver® System and see why you should get one for your home. Plus get a chance to win $100 Visa gift card! Read more
Most Popular on Food
Success Rice Farms Reviews & Giveaways
Success® Rice is the ORIGINAL no mess, no measure boil-in-bag rice that cooks perfectly every time and is ready in 10 minutes. Read our bloggers' posts and see how they make hearty meals by adding Success® Rice into their favorite recipes plus get a chance to win $100.