22 May 2013

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Beyond Modified Foods: Modified Laws And The Monsanto Protections Act

Many of the genetically modified foods will be safe, I’m sure. Will most of them be safe? Nobody knows. –Jeremy Rifkin Here is some food for thought (pun intended). What do you call a business that has a monopoly on an industry, has been known to do great environmental damage, is able to nearly write their own laws, the product they offer is outlawed in numerous countries, they’ve been known to use child labor, many people have committed suicide as a result of being indebted to them, have many known cases of false advertising, and one which has enough lobbyists and allies in the American government to not only do all of this unimpeded, but is seemingly supported by it? Given up? You call that business Monsanto. And Monsanto is a very big business.



Many of the genetically modified foods will be safe, I’m sure. Will most of them be safe? Nobody knows. –Jeremy Rifkin
Here is some food for thought (pun intended). What do you call a business that has a monopoly on an industry, has been known to do great environmental damage, is able to nearly write their own laws, the product they offer is outlawed in numerous countries, they’ve been known to use child labor, many people have committed suicide as a result of being indebted to them, have many known cases of false advertising, and one which has enough lobbyists and allies in the American government to not only do all of this unimpeded, but is seemingly supported by it?

Given up? You call that business Monsanto. And Monsanto is a very big business.

For those of you who don’t know, Monsanto is the leading producer of genetically engineered seeds and herbicide glyphosates (pesticides). They are a publicly traded American multinational biotechnology corporation and were founded in 1901. They have also dabbled in other things over the years, for instance being the pioneer for light emitting diodes (LEDs). But in general, their business is primarily seeds and pesticides, and business is booming. Last year Monsanto pulled in a hefty $1.6 billion in profits, while total revenue was nearly $12 billion.

So why does a conglomerate that seems to be as nefarious as Monsanto have a Bill being passed in their name? That’s a good question. For starters, it should be understood that Monsanto has been playing the political card for a long time, and currently already have a slew of government protections which it enjoys. The company itself would deny any collusion, however they have a long list of their own Board members that have other positions in highly esteemed governmental positions. These include, but are not limited to: The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and even President Obama’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations.
So having a Bill named after them seems like it wouldn’t be a hard thing to achieve. But what is the Monsanto Protections Act?

The Monsanto Protection Act
Really the Monsanto Protection Act is the “Farmer Assurance Provision, Section 735” which is a “rider” law included in a much larger Emergency Budget Bill that was passed in late April. For those that don’t know, a “rider” law essentially piggybacks off of other laws being introduced. The idea is that to avoid the full focused scrutiny of the legislative process; you simply make inclusions into other bills. In essence, making the “rider” law less noticeable, one that can fly under the radar a little easier.

But since Obama signed the Farmer Assurance Provision with the Monsanto “rider” law included, that law is now active for the next six months. The Monsanto Provision Act allows agribusiness (meaning Monsanto) to promote and plant genetically modified organisms and genetically engineered seeds without woe or worry over any judicial litigation that may conclude the crops being used are unsafe. It essentially allows Monsanto the ability to ignore any court ruling that would inhibit the companies planting of new genetically engineered crops.

This would even include GMO seeds, pesticides, and growth hormones that have already been banned by numerous other countries. As it stands, the USDA has not once denied a single application for Monsanto. Meanwhile, many other countries worry over the potential health concerns of Monsanto's products. For instance, a controversial growth hormone that Monsanto was selling was denied by the European Union, Japan, Australia, and Canada. Though it was easily passed and put to use in the U.S without any trouble.

In The End
I’ve never personally been one to worry over conspiracy theories, and Monsanto definitely has many surrounding them. But when you just basically look at their business, how their board members are involved in governmental policy making decisions, the long list of people who complain about their products and practices, the fact that numerous countries refuse Monsanto's products and even aid when it is desperately needed, you soon begin to realize that something is certainly amiss. Even taking a brief glimpse at their Monsanto Wikipedia page tells a disturbing story in itself, and that’s just their history. The web is absolutely filled with stories and opinions that strongly oppose Monsanto.

Though, it is no doubt due their blatant Orwellian practices, by which they crush anyone who stands in their way, seize power whenever and wherever possible, use subterfuge and deceit to achieve their goals, and many, many other wicked things. Again, I’m not one to jump on any conspiracy bandwagon, but I’m certainly following close in step behind this one. There is far too much negative publicity and enraged people for it all to be a coincidence. Not to mention, when third world countries deny a company’s help, and other first world countries refuse to lie in bed with them, that ought to signal something.

All you have to do is a Google search for Monsanto, read a little and form your own opinion. 

Considering there is very little that appears to be positive about them, there is no doubt you will form the same opinion as everyone else. Most have never heard of Monsanto, and that is probably with intention and by design. So expose to yourself, as well as anyone else you know, the practices and goals of Monsanto. Because they are trying their best to stay in the shadows, and it’s our job to bring it to light.

With that said, I must say one thing in the defense of Monsanto. The whole purpose of GMO and pesticides is to produce food that can withstand the elements and destructive insects all while creating the largest crop yield possible. Many of the farming techniques used by Monsanto are based on the work of Norman Borlaug, and Mr. Borlaug is known as the man who has saved more human lives throughout history than any other person. More than a Billion lives in total, and still counting. Without the use and implementation of his research, we would simply not have enough food to feed the number of people we have on our planet. That is of course without having to resort to deforestation, which in itself would only help so much while having devastating consequences on our planets eco system.

It’s a sad fact, but one worth keeping in mind. Even though Monsanto appears to be pure evil, and they may very well be. They are helping to keep people fed, and honestly, I myself would rather eat something now to avoid starving to death and risk whatever consequences that face me in the future for having consumed genetically modified food. You can’t always have your cake and eat it too.


Featured image:
 
License: Royalty Free or iStock source

About Today's Contributor:
The author of this article is Damien S. Wilhelmi. If you enjoyed this piece you can follow him on Twitter @CustParadigm. The law can certainly be a tricky course to navigate, and if you are in need of a Colorado Truck Accident Attorney, be sure to find the most qualified around. 



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