Last week I wrote an article--wait, no. Last week I ranted about how much I hate Monsanto. I think that more aptly describes it. The rant was premature as I found out. Had I waited another few days I could have simply forwarded you all this little addition to the impending farm bill and my argument would have been summarized. The proposed bill gives agricultural giants the right to do, well, practically everything.
In order to guarantee a relative standard on food health, a federal court could issued an injunction that stops big agriculture from contaminating food and abusing their workers. This bill undermines all of that. The bill would stipulate that if Monsanto wants something, all they have to do is ask nicely. Actually—there’s nothing about the nicely part in there. They’d just have to ask.
How does the bill do that? Simple. It outlaws review of genetically engineered crops. This would be a big win for Monsanto and other agri-giants. For years they’ve battled in court to protect the privatization of their seeds and their right to plant genetically engineered crops. The courts have ruled, time and time again, that the USDA came up short in their inspection. They recognize that genetically engineered plants, at least in their current state, aren’t safe. That didn’t deter anyone though. I’m going to borrow a line from the Huffington Post:, “[R]ather than address these continued failures, the chemical industry's allies in Congress are trying to change the law via the Farm Bill. The logic being: if you can't win the game, change the rules.”
The implications of this bill are self-explanatory. I also hope that they are just as scary to everyone else as they are to me. Like I said last week, Monsanto is already a super-giant-control-the-world-stomp-on-farmers-and-take-their-children type of business (ok, they don’t take their children). They basically control the entirety of the agricultural market. Stripping industrial agriculture of it’s regulations and allowing them free reign on our soil would only amplify the environmental and health hazards that have already sprung up in the last 10, 15, 20 years. Just to be cute, I went ahead and made a little ad for the bill:
Wouldn’t that be great? Thanks Monsanto. Thanks Congress. Keep on keepin’ on, ya’ll.
Cynical sarcasm aside, there is hope! Certain awesome members of Congress are trying to stop this bill, fueled by groups like Food Democracy Now and Center for Food Safety. With any luck, and a little bit of reason, the House could cut these riders off of the bill and keep the review process how it is. It would be really awesome if they took this time to review the review process and tighten it up, but we’re on the defensive right now. Here’s to hoping Congress will pull their heads out of their wallets and give our agri-markets a modicum of safety.