Editor in chief questions Monsanto bill, criticizes government

Tricia Peterson Washburn Review

Last week President Barack Obama and Congress pissed me off. 

While everyone was worrying about equal marriage rights he signed the 

Agricultural Appropriations Bill, which has been dubbed “The Monsanto Protection Act” – and that’s exactly what it will do, protect this corporation from taking responsibility for its actions.

According to many media outlets, members of Congress signed the bill without knowing what they were signing. Also, the bill wasn’t reviewed by the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees at all and the part of the bill addressing these chemical companies was introduced anonymously as the larger bill made its way through. Congress is being accused of backroom dealings and I am not surprised. 

This bothers me because this bill and the way it came into law was shady. The companies like Monsanto will now get away with feeding the public crops they haven’t tested and they won’t know what the side effects will be. The bill is only in effect for six months, but I am sure they will find some way to extend it or rewrite it and slip it past those who can stop it, just like they did this time.

What it provides is a way for companies to continue selling their genetically modified and genetically engineered seeds and products to farmers while they are still in court, approving the seeds for distribution. This will allow the company to dodge any legal responsibility if the seeds are found to cause cancer, health problems or any other significant health risk.

Critics of the bill, myself included, think that it’s just a way to let the companies get away with placing unapproved products on the market. I want to know what will happen if these products cause health issues and start affecting the public health. The answer, unfortunately, is nothing. They will get away with it and be able to legally sell the seeds and use them in the food market. This makes absolutely no sense to me, whatsoever. It’s a blatant disregard for public health and safety, I can’t believe our government let this happen. 

This bill comes from a long line of bills before it, allowing Monsanto, the company that owns Round Up and Round Up Ready Seeds, to plant crops before they were approved and sell the food even after the food was invalidated in court. This already sounds ridiculous to me and I am eating this food. Round Up Ready Seeds are modified to resist the Round Up pesticide farmers spray on the crops. The fact that they are putting chemicals into our food to resist other chemicals they are spraying on our food makes me uneasy already, and this bill doesn’t help.

There is a petition that has been signed by over 250,000 people asking Congress to veto the bill. If you are like me and want to know what you’re putting into your mouth is safe, I encourage you to sign the petition. Here’s the link: http://signon.org/sign/tell-obama-to-cease-fda.fb1?source=s.fb&r_by=2105328

To read the bill, check out this website: govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hr933/text