You may have heard some news recently about a so-called “Monstanto Protection Act” that was an Agricultural Appropriations Bill (HR 933) that contained a provision (in section 735) allowing companies to harvest GMO seeds, even if an injunction or other litigation is pending against them.
Watch as John Stewart brilliantly sums it up for us. You stuck what where now?
It should be noted that Senator John Tester (Democrat, Montana) stood up against this provision and called it out for what it was. At the time of this episode of the Daily Show, no one had fessed up to including the provision. Later, Senator Roy Blunt (Republican, Missouri) came forward saying he worked with Monsanto and was responsible for its inclusion. This is no surprise, as he is known to be a friend of Big Ag and has lobbyist ties to other processed food companies that do not support GMO labeling. He gets plenty of money in his war chest from Monsanto. (To read more on Monsanto, check out Food & Water Watch's Monsanto: A Corporate Profile.)
All of the issues with GMO labeling and Big Ag aside, it makes me so utterly disappointed in our government that anonymous, secret riders can be snuck into any bill, particularly one that would avert a government shutdown, which are almost inevitably going to be signed into law. It represents the highest level of corruption, greed and fraud that politicians can be bought. It wasn’t even just votes that were bought on an issue that was out in the open, but Monsanto effectively purchased a law that benefits their business to the detriment of the environment and our health, behind everyone’s back. Even when Senator Tester stood up, not enough people listened. Our government is for sale to the highest bidder.
When you are making your choices about what kind of fertilizer to buy for your garden this summer, look into who makes those products. Are you buying Monsanto products (RoundUp, Scots, etc.)? If so, you’re helping to subsidize the purchase of our government. You might not think $20 here and there matters, but until Americans start standing up one by one and saying “here is the line and I will not cross it,” we can expect these companies to continue to buy their way into our government.
This probably sounds melodramatic. But I truly believe this is how democracy vanishes. Crossing the lines we said we’d never cross.