The subject of legalized Gay marriage this past week created plenty of buzz across the nation but another political subject held my attention: the passing of the Monsanto Protection Act.
The U.S. Congress silently passed this last-minute addition to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill for 2013 last week. Besides the content of the entire act, what really got me riled up was President Obama’s timing. While so much attention was paid to Gay marriage, he also quietly signed this into action this week. Talk about the ultimate distraction! Why is no one paying attention to such an important issue? Even more disappointing, our President has gone back on his promise from 2007 to ‘immediately’ label GMOs upon his election.
What This Bill Does:
The “Monsanto Protection Act” effectively strips federal courts of the authority to immediately stop the planting and sale of genetically modified (GMO) crops, regardless of any consumer health concerns. With the defeat of California’s Prop 37 this past November, which required food labeling in the state, this is another major setback to a healthy, knowledgeable, empowered nation. Though it will only remain in effect for six months, passing this act sends the message that corporations can get around consumer safety protections if they get Congress on their side. And it sets a precedent that suggests that court challenges are a privilege, not a right. Money, money, money.
Why It’s SO Important:
This is one of the most dangerous environmental and health risks we are facing. Many consumers are unaware of what GMOs are, let alone that this act even exists. While many of the health risks are still “unknown,” Russia has suspended all importing and using of American corn crop after studies have revealed it poses a cancer risk. Over 40 countries around the world – including Germany, France and Italy – have completely banned or severely restricted GMOs and yet the U.S. doesn’t even require labeling our GMO food. Almost 80% of packaged food in the U.S. contains genetically modified ingredients. From birth defects and cancer to infertility and altered genes, we have no idea the long-term health affects of consuming GMOs. How incredibly scary!
Humans are not a science experiment and now, more than ever, it is so important to protect our rights as a consumer to know what is in the food that we consume. Large, popular food companies in FAVOR of GMOs contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars this past November in support of NOT labeling food – Nestle, Pepsi, Coca Cola, Kraft, Kellogg’s, General Mills and Bayer. Companies that are a household name and people don’t think twice about purchasing their food products. What a disappointment.