Ethical Eating

Obama Signs Monsanto Protection Act

Unless you've been locked up in a bomb shelter, hiding out for the past few years, it's fairly apparent: our government has turned into a shit show. Rather than do things, like, govern our elected Representatives have been too busy bickering over one thing after another.

Well, there is some good news: Congress finally agreed to pays the government's bills and keep running. Yesterday, the President signed off on the Continuing Resolution Act. The bad news: it contained the "Monsanto Protection Act," a legislative rider sneakily inserted into the bill.

See also:
- GE Mandatory Labeling Laws Introduced in Florida
- Monsanto Protection Act Makes its Way Through Senate
- Frankenfish Rejected From National Retailers: Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and More

After it making its way through Congress late last week, the President signed the Continuing Resolution Act, the bill put together to keep the government running until the end of the fiscal year. The bill left the sequester's $85 billion in budget cuts in place, but it has attempted to ease the impact of cuts to food inspection and other items.

Sounds great, right? Well, as Congress so frequently does, an unrelated rider was snuck into the bill. Referred to as the Farmer Assurance Provision, Section 735, slipped its way into the Continuing Resolution. This section of the bill requires the USDA to approve the use of GMO seed, even if environmental studies were ruled inadequate by a court. Basically, Monsanto and other biotech companies can now do whatever the heck they damn well please without any government oversight--even if human health and environmental concerns are an issue.

Hey, we're glad the government has agreed to keep running, but the passage of this bill and some of its riders highlights some serious concerns with the US legislative process. Why should a controversial bill aimed at keeping the government financially afloat contain sections intended to disempower the US legal system? Let's be honest: the Continuing Resolution had to pass.

With 90% of the US population supporting mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, its fairly obvious that the populous does not support these products. Could the underhanded insertion of section 735 to the budget bill be considered a breach of democracy? We think so. And unfortunately, that's now just the way it is.

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Sara Ventiera