Jan 22, 2013
Imagine judicial review for protecting consumer rights and the environment going up in a puff of smoke and biotech corporations like Monsanto having complete immunity to plant whatever they want, whenever they want — without testing. This is exactly what a small amendment in the proposed new farm bill guarantees.
The fine print
H.R. 5973: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 is legislation that will form agricultural and food policy in the U.S. if passed. According to American Farmland Trust:
“The farm bill is a package of federal legislation enacted every five to seven years to set the general direction for America’s farm and food policy. Congress enacted the first farm bill in the wake of the Great Depression with the dual goals of supporting America’s farmers and ranchers and helping them to maintain their land.”
H.R. 5973 (otherwise known as The Monsanto Protection Act) carries a small rider in section 733 that grants biotech companies free reign with little oversight. The legal team at the Center for Food Safety translates section 733 as a “dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards” and “would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review.” Food Democracy Now states that, if allowed to pass, The Monsanto Protection Act “fundamentally undermines the concept of judicial review and would strip judges of their constitutional mandate to protect consumer rights and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new untested genetically engineered crops, endangering farmers, consumers and the environment.”
Vote delayed in the House of Representatives
As of December 2012, H.R. 5973 has yet to be presented in the House. An extension has been approved, pushing the vote into 2013. This is good news for food safety advocates — more time is available to mobilize and make voices heard. To take action and express concern over this proposed legislation, a directory of House members can be found here.
Some sobering food for thought from RT Question More:
” … one thing is certain – if passed, this one line in a 90-page document will mean Frankenfood for consumers, losses for farmers and huge profits for biotech companies that don’t appear to care much for anything else.”
Sources for this article include:
“Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts” Daily Paul, July 11, 2012. Retrieved on December 20, 2012 from: http://www.dailypaul.com
“Language from the FY 2013 House Ag Appropriations Bill Detailing the The “Farmer Assurance Provision” AKA the Monsanto Protection Act” Food Democracy Now! July 29, 2012. Retrieved on December 20, 2012 from: http://fooddemocracynow.org
“Prospects for the New Farm Bill” Kent Thiesse, Corn & Soybean Digest, December 11, 2012. Retrieved on December 20, 2012 from: http://cornandsoybeandigest.com/blog/prospects-new-farm-bill
“Monsanto rider: New bill could make biotech companies immune to courts” RT Question More, July 11, 2012. Retrieved on December 20, 2012 from: http://rt.com/usa/news/monsanto-bill-immunity-court-862/
“H.R. 5973: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013 112th Congress, 2011-2012. Text as of Jun 20, 2012 (Reported by House Committee).” Govtrack. Retrieved on December 20, 2012 from: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr5973/text
“2012 Farm Bill Update (as of Jan 2, 2013)” KWOA. Retrieved on January 2, 2012 from: http://kwoa.com/farm/2012/12/31/2012-farm-bill-update-jan-2-2013
“About the Farm Bill” American Farmland Trust. Retrieved on January 2, 2012 from: http://www.farmbillfacts.org/2012-farm-bill
About the author:
Carolanne enthusiastically believes if we want to see change in the world, we need to be the change. As a nutritionist, natural foods chef and wellness coach, Carolanne has encouraged others to embrace a healthy lifestyle of organic living, gratefulness and joyful orientation for over 13 years. Through her website www.Thrive-Living.net she looks forward to connecting with other like-minded folks who share a similar vision.
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This article was posted: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at 10:55 am