Monsanto is an agricultural biotechnology corporation that has spent millions of dollars and a great deal of time to make sure they can keep selling genetically engineered seeds to the public even if a federal court deems the product a health risk. Monsanto has a reputation for being an evil business, and the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ is just one of the reasons why some representatives in Congress are fighting to lessen the power over agriculture that the company has accumulated over the years. Many are calling their latest move an act that goes way too far, and one that requires immediate attention.
Last year, the company spent almost $6 million on lobbying to pass the ‘Monsanto Protection Act,’ which allows Monsanto to continue selling their genetically engineered seeds without any interference from federal courts. Someone anonymously wrote the act and passed it in secret. But, that doesn’t seem to be enough for the company, as they have also put into motion an amendment to the farm bill that aims to destroy GMO labeling laws, which have been gaining steam in states, such as Vermont and Connecticut.
Food advocates warn that if the amendment stands as is, the ability of lawmakers in individual states becomes hindered and they will not be able to pass GMO-labeling laws. A Republican representative from Iowa named Steve King introduced the amendment. The company is now receiving backlash for their actions, as politicians are spreading the word about Monsanto’s intentions, and have gathered the backing of others who seek to repeal the Act, such as Senator Jeff Merkley.
To date, the farm bill has already been passed by the House, and is up for debate in the Senate. While Monsanto has a great deal of money working in their favor, politicians hope to organize a campaign against the company that targets the Act where it hurts the most.
With donations and the help of others, members of Congress will be ‘outed’ in a way as an effort to create growing opposition towards Monsanto and the company’s influence in political matters. Supporters will launch campaigns across the U.S. to fight against the farm bill. It’s important for the public to know which key members of Congress are in the back pocket of the company and support Monsanto’s desire to flood the marketplace with genetically modified seeds and by-products.
There has been much debate on whether GMO seeds and foods pose a health issue, but studies have shown that a range of potential risks may include cancer, kidney and liver damage, and threats to the reproductive system. Regardless of the real or assumed health concerns, food advocates believe that consumers still have a right to know what they are buying even if it doesn’t have anything to do with GMO seeds.
The $6 million investment that Monsanto put into buying their way with legislation has gotten them a long way so far, and in the future, your favorite foods and the other products you buy that are associated with Monsanto could have come from genetically modified sources. As of right now, an estimated 70% of all processed foods sold in supermarkets across the United States are linked to GMO crops that have been created using genetically modified and genetically engineered seeds.
If passed, consumers could encounter a serious threat to their health and safety that will only continue to get worse in the future.