How Congress And President Obama Failed To Protect You

Please forgive me for such a dramatic headline.  If you follow my site, you know that I generally have boring titles.  In most cases I find bold headlines to be rather obnoxious.  But this time I couldn’t contain my anger, sadness, and disgust with recent events.

Last night President Obama signed Senate Bill HR 933, a spending bill aimed at averting a Government shutdown late last night.  On the surface, this seems like the responsible thing to do – pay the bills.  But this is politics folks and that means that someone has to pay.  This time, we all do.

Basically, the Senate Bill 933 contained a biotech rider, dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act”.  The Bill itself included spending for defense, homeland security and the like.  It had truly important issues in it.  Then there’s the rider, I’ll go into that in a minute.

An article, ‘Monsanto Protection Act’: 5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision by Conner Adam Sheets for the International Business Times is the most enlightening on the subject if you’d like to go further.

The largest problem with this biotech rider is that it prevents our legal system from doing its job, by barring federal courts to halt the planting or sale of genetically modified organisms (GMO) seeds if it determined that the public’s safety is in danger.  I will grant that there may not be any adverse effects, but that’s just because I can’t tell the future and neither can these legislators. Granting biotech companies, like Monsanto , immunity no matter what is a dangerous move.

A Monsanto executive told The New York Times that the safety of genetically engineered foods was the government’s problem, not the company’s, “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food,” said Phil Angell, Monsanto’s director of corporate communications. “Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA‘s job.”

Monsanto is not unique in this stance.  I actually don’t condemn them for statements like this either.  They clearly are in the business of making money.  They are a business.  That is all.

It’s just one more reason why we need to support our local farmers.  They do it for the love of the land, the way of life, and knowing that they bring good quality food to their community.  There is a pride in the product that spurs them to continue, not a bottom line.  Let’s show our local farmers just how much we care by buying fresh, local, organic food.

A few more questions bothered me about this whole story thought.  Who do we have to thank for attaching this rider?  We don’t know, the coward attached it anonymously.

Why would anyone attach this type of rider?  It clearly doesn’t help the American people.  Someone is getting something out of this deal and it isn’t us.  If you are interested in how your own representatives voted, check out http://www.govtrack.us/congress/votes/113-2013/s44

Why would Congress pass such a bill with this rider?  Sadly, it seems that most of the people who passed this bill, and maybe even the President, didn’t know it was there.  My heart sinks a little to know that we put our faith in a system, only to be let down by the incumbents.

What can we do now?  Speak up!  Much of the news coverage for this has been sidelined because of the Supreme Court hearings around gay marriage.  Let our media and our representatives know that we oppose this type of action!

Lastly, be aware of what you are putting into your body because there is no garauntee that just because it’s on the shelf, it’s safe to eat. Put your money where your heart is.  Buy local.  Buy organic.  Think hard before you buy products without GMO labeling.  Demand more!

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