Monsanto, a large agricultural entity in the US, apparently needs protection, for the US Congress has passed, back in the spring of 2013, what has been dubbed the Monsanto Protection Act, which, critics claim, “effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future”. The bill has been recently reauthorized in the House, but not the Senate. (Meanwhile, while supporting corporate welfare, the House GOP axes food assistance for millions of Americans.)
So what’s the issue with GMOs? It is believed that GMOs are not safe. “They have been linked to thousands of toxic and allergenic reactions, thousands of sick, sterile, and dead livestock, and damage to virtually every organ and system studied in lab animals.” Also, Many scientists are calling for further study of a genetically modified bacteria which is used to create aspartame. Moreover, some fear that the use of the Monsanto product RoundUp will cause birth defects.
The desire among many, short of banning these products, is for GMOs to be labeled, but GMO manufacturers are even resistant to that, unless they are voluntary. Worst-case scenario, once the FDA finalizes its GMO labeling guidance, industry uses the FDA guidance to preempt state laws requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs. “Currently, states have the right to enact GMO labeling laws precisely because the FDA has not formally ruled on GMO labeling.”
It’s interesting that a whole lot of the world wants them banned. Activists in Chile are fighting Monsanto’s bid to patent food crops. Also, more than 1000 acres found to have been planted with genetically altered maize crops have been destroyed in Hungary. “The country has boldly banned GMO seed. Peru has passed a ban for at least ten years on GM foods, along with Italy, Greece, Spain and Austria with their own bans, as well as many other countries.” Here is a list of countries & regions with GE food/crop bans.
According to The World According to Monsanto, which charts “documentary filmmaker Marie-Monique Robin’s three-year journey across four continents to uncover the disturbing practices of multinational agribusiness corporation Monsanto, it uses “alarming legal and political tactics to maintain this monopoly [that] are the subject of worldwide concern, with baleful consequences for the world’s small-scale farmers.” This parody piece from The Daily Show illuminates how litigious Monsanto is when farmers try NOT to use their patented seeds which need to be purchased every year, contrary to agricultural practice of reusing seeds that go back millennia. And the US Supreme Court has supported Monsanto in 2013.
In the Philippines, GMO corn farmers are losing their land and going into debt, thanks to bait-and-switch pricing tactics.
There will a March Against Monsanto event on Saturday, October 12 around the world. The information is now on Facebook, after previously having been removed.
Some other links:
14-year-old girl stands up to Monsanto shill
The list of Monsanto-owned companies you may have seen on the Internet is probably wrong, such as this one, though it may be a fair reflection of companies using Monsanto products and techniques. Conversely, this list I believe to be correct.
Five GMO myths busted.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. of Newport Natural Health – GMOs: Are Your Cupboards Filled with Frankenfoods?
Occupy Monsanto website.