Monsanto Protection Act. Can someone explain why this is good?

ruckstande

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http://www.ibtimes.com/monsanto-pro...ng-things-know-about-hr-933-provision-1156079

Is this as terrifying as it sounds or am I being a conspiracy nut.
The "Monsanto Protection Act" is the name opponents of the Farmer Assurance Provision have given to this terrifying piece of policy, and it's a fitting moniker given its shocking content.

President Barack Obama signed a spending bill, HR 933, into law on Tuesday that includes language that has food and consumer advocates and organic farmers up in arms over their contention that the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" is a giveaway to corporations that was passed under the cover of darkness.
There's a lot being said about it, but here are five terrifying facts about the Farmer Assurance Provision -- Section 735 of the spending bill -- to get you acquainted with the reasons behind the ongoing uproar:



1.) The "Monsanto Protection Act" effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. The advent of genetically modified seeds -- which has been driven by the massiveMonsanto Company -- and their exploding use in farms across America came on fast and has proved a huge boon for Monsanto's profits.
But many anti-GMO folks argue there have not been enough studies into the potential health risks of this new class of crop. Well, now it appears that even if those studies are completed and they end up revealing severe adverse health effects related to the consumption of genetically modified foods, the courts will have no ability to stop the spread of the seeds and the crops they bear.
2.) The provision's language was apparently written in collusion with Monsanto. Lawmakers and companies working together to craft legislation is by no means a rare occurrence in this day and age. But the fact that Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, actually worked with Monsanto on a provision that in effect allows them to keep selling seeds, which can then go on to be planted, even if it is found to be harmful to consumers, is stunning. It's just another example of corporations bending Congress to their will, and it's one that could have dire risks for public health in America.
3.) Many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the "Monsanto Protection Act" even existed within the bill they were voting on. HR 933 was a spending bill aimed at averting a government shutdown and ensuring that the federal government would continue to be able to pay its bills. But the Center for Food Safety maintains that many Democrats in Congress were not even aware that the provision was in the legislation:
“In this hidden backroom deal, Sen. [Barbara] Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto,” Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, said in a statement. “This abuse of power is not the kind of leadership the public has come to expect from Sen. Mikulski or the Democrat Majority in the Senate.”
4.) The President did nothing to stop it, either. On Tuesday, Obama signed HR 933 while the rest of the nation was fixated on gay marriage, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument concerning California's Proposition 8. But just because most of the nation and the media were paying attention to gay marriage doesn't mean that others were not doing their best to express their opposition to the "Monsanto Protection Act." In fact, more than 250,000 voters signed a petition opposing the provision. And Food Democracy Now protesters even took their fight straight to Obama, protesting in front of the White House against Section 735 of the bill. He signed it anyway.
5.) It sets a terrible precedent. Though it will only remain in effect for six months until the government finds another way to fund its operations, the message it sends is that corporations can get around consumer safety protections if they get Congress on their side. Furthermore, it sets a precedent that suggests that court challenges are a privilege, not a right.

“I think any time you tweak with the ability of the public to seek redress from the courts, you create a huge risk,” Seattle attorney Bill Marler -- who has represented victims of foodborne illness in successful lawsuits against corporations -- told the New York Daily News.
 

Don the Radio Guy

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#3
Typical corporate welfare. The fear mongering over genetically modified food is just that, fear mongering.
 

whiskeyguy

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That's a very biased article, so I'm not sure what the act actually includes.

However, here's a translation. It sounds like this bill prevents courts from holding up progress for years. Environmentalists love to sue, and they just keep suing. There's a bypass near my town Caltrans has been trying to put in for 20 years. Every time they get close, environmental groups sue and find an activist judge to order yet another environmental impact report. Recently when a judge ruled enough reports had been done, the activists tried to sue and say the ones they sued for and demanded 10 years ago were no longer valid, because ten years (of them holding this bullshit up in court) had passed.

There will never be enough studies done. I personally am not afraid of GMO foods, but I am certainly not an expert. I say any group that wants to continue doing studies until the end of time should be able to do so (on their own dime), and as long as this food is labeled as GMO consumers can make up their own decision.

These people are trying to find evidence that supports their conclusions. It's not science, it's emotional legislation. And I fucking hate a lot of Monsanto's policies, but limited how long companies are held up in court is something that should be done.
 

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I have no problem with GMO's either but I do have
a problem with this middle of the night legislation.

If a bill can't pass in the open then obviously there's
enough questions about it to not pass it yet.
 

Neon

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That's a very biased article, so I'm not sure what the act actually includes.

However, here's a translation. It sounds like this bill prevents courts from holding up progress for years. Environmentalists love to sue, and they just keep suing. There's a bypass near my town Caltrans has been trying to put in for 20 years. Every time they get close, environmental groups sue and find an activist judge to order yet another environmental impact report. Recently when a judge ruled enough reports had been done, the activists tried to sue and say the ones they sued for and demanded 10 years ago were no longer valid, because ten years (of them holding this bullshit up in court) had passed.

There will never be enough studied done. I personally am not afraid of GMO foods, but I am certainly not an expert. I say any group that wants to continue doing studies until the end of time should be able to do so (on their own dime), and as long as this food is labeled as GMO consumers can make up their own decision.

These people are trying to find evidence that supports their conclusions. It's not science, it's emotional legislation. And I fucking hate a lot of Monsanto's policies, but limited how long companies are held up in court is something that should be done.
I don't know anything about this, but here's a laymen question: Why would the companies that make all our food want the food they sell us to fuck us up? Isn't it in their best interest to keep people alive and consuming food? That's the thing I never understood. If it was dangerous on a level where literally thousands and thousands of people are getting the same kind of sickness, people would be afraid to eat those things. If it is just cases here and there - well that happens with everything. Fucking peanuts are lethal to many people. That doesn't mean they are lethal to all people.
 

whiskeyguy

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I don't know anything about this, but here's a laymen question: Why would the companies that make all our food want the food they sell us to fuck us up? Isn't it in their best interest to keep people alive and consuming food? That's the thing I never understood. If it was dangerous on a level where literally thousands and thousands of people are getting the same kind of sickness, people would be afraid to eat those things. If it is just cases here and there - well that happens with everything. Fucking peanuts are lethal to many people. That doesn't mean they are lethal to all people.
Exactly. If this product was so dangerous, they would be killing their consumers... some of them with decades left of buying their product. If it is more dangerous than organic foods, it's probably only by a fraction.

Now there is one possibility. Companies do financial analysis, and if GMO foods kill say 1% of their consumers 10 years before their natural death, but allow the company to increase production to the point that they increase their consumer base by 20%... maybe they would make that call.

However the people claiming GMO foods are dangerous are mostly acting out of emotion. The entire organic movement was mostly bullshit, but farmers were smart enough to capitalize on it. They embraced the movement because their crops, when organic, were worth 50% or whatever more. Now with GMO huge corporations are going to make food much cheaper and more efficient, which is going to hurt these smaller organic farmers. That's why they're suing, out of self-preservation (not to keep me and you safe).
 

Neon

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I also don't like the blanket term "GMO." A seedless watermelon is technically genetically modified. Hell, grapefruits are 18th century hybrids. It's too broad a term and when I hear it I get no sense of what kind of changes we are even talking about. Most strains of food we currently consume, even the totally natural "organic" ones, have been already "genetically modified" over the thousands of years of human farming.
 

THE FEZ MAN

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sell food that fucks you then drug companies make drugs to cure you maaaaannnnnnn
 

whiskeyguy

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I also don't like the blanket term "GMO." A seedless watermelon is technically genetically modified. Hell, grapefruits are 18th century hybrids. It's too broad a term and when I hear it I get no sense of what kind of changes we are even talking about. Most strains of food we currently consume, even the totally natural "organic" ones, have been already "genetically modified" over the thousands of years of human farming.
They act like tomatoes are being injected with nuclear waste.

Another thought, supporting only organic crops means less food produced per acre. Why do hippies like world hunger so much?
 

Neon

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They act like tomatoes are being injected with nuclear waste.

Another thought, supporting only organic crops means less food produced per acre. Why do hippies like world hunger so much?
There's no winning with them. Just look at what they are doing to nuclear energy.
 

whiskeyguy

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There's no winning with them. Just look at what they are doing to nuclear energy.
Yup, that blows my mind also. Nuclear energy is awesome, and will lead to amazing advancements if we support it.

The funniest thing I had heard in a while was people in San Francisco protesting the wind mills in the foothills because birds were flying into them and dying.
 

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This is going to sound really "Kirkish" but I am sorry.....something scares me on a very fundamental level.(and yes, it is probably my strict catholic upbringing or all the horror movies I saw as a kid.) I know that technically we have been genetically engineering our foodstuffs and livestock for centuries. That's fine. But when you start injecting spider genes into corn to make the stalks heartier, insert a tomato gene into a cow so it grows more beef, or inserting whatever...it doesn't bother someone that there might be a ripple effect..mutation of stuff that has lay dormant in what we are fiddling with since man first walked upright?
EDIT: Holy shit!!!! I just became Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park!!!!!
Fuck!
 

Don the Radio Guy

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Liberals hate anything government doesn't provide. The State doesn't provide nuclear power or food, so the ones who do provide those things must be demonized.
 

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Yup, that blows my mind also. Nuclear energy is awesome, and will lead to amazing advancements if we support it.

The funniest thing I had heard in a while was people in San Francisco protesting the wind mills in the foothills because birds were flying into them and dying.
Those fuckers kill like 100 Golden Eagles a year or some crazy number like that.

And regarding nuclear - there are so many things people don't know about the topic and it's just sad. Like vitrification for waste disposal (essentially converting liquid nuclear waste into inert glass cylinders) and other such conversion processes. I do believe that once we get a good handle on fusion reactors things will be better because their natural state is off, not on. In a fission reactor you create a chain reaction that you then need to control. With fusion, you constantly need to provide power to keep the fusion reaction going. So a fission reactor malfunction can lead to a meltdown, but all a fusion reactor malfunction would do is lead to a shutdown. In many sci-fi stories, the advent of efficient fusion engines is a giant step forward in society. I believe predictions are for the next several decades with that stuff. Add to that possible He3 deposits on the moon (He3/Deuterium is the best kind of fuel for fusion reactors) and we could be talking some very powerful engines to get us to Mars and beyond.
 

whiskeyguy

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This is going to sound really "Kirkish" but I am sorry.....something scares me on a very fundamental level.(and yes, it is probably my strict catholic upbringing or all the horror movies I saw as a kid.) I know that technically we have been genetically engineering our foodstuffs and livestock for centuries. That's fine. But when you start injecting spider genes into corn to make the stalks heartier, insert a tomato gene into a cow so it grows more beef, or inserting whatever...it doesn't bother someone that there might be a ripple effect..mutation of stuff that has lay dormant in what we are fiddling with since man first walked upright?
EDIT: Holy shit!!!! I just became Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park!!!!!
Fuck!
Which isn't completely insane. Sometimes fucking with shit will be dangerous. I personally don't think that's the case here. I also love the mentality of the people against this... "we won't know for 50 years what this is doing to us, so we should wait until then to sign off on it". Well unless we're doing it, we'll be in the exact same place in 50 years. Sometimes progress requires a certain amount of acceptable risk.

How about a compromise? They can only sell the food to Mexico for the next ten years.
 

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This is going to sound really "Kirkish" but I am sorry.....something scares me on a very fundamental level.(and yes, it is probably my strict catholic upbringing or all the horror movies I saw as a kid.) I know that technically we have been genetically engineering our foodstuffs and livestock for centuries. That's fine. But when you start injecting spider genes into corn to make the stalks heartier, insert a tomato gene into a cow so it grows more beef, or inserting whatever...it doesn't bother someone that there might be a ripple effect..mutation of stuff that has lay dormant in what we are fiddling with since man first walked upright?
EDIT: Holy shit!!!! I just became Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park!!!!!
Fuck!
 

whiskeyguy

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Those fuckers kill like 100 Golden Eagles a year or some crazy number like that.

And regarding nuclear - there are so many things people don't know about the topic and it's just sad. Like vitrification for waste disposal (essentially converting liquid nuclear waste into inert glass cylinders) and other such conversion processes. I do believe that once we get a good handle on fusion reactors things will be better because their natural state is off, not on. In a fission reactor you create a chain reaction that you then need to control. With fusion, you constantly need to provide power to keep the fusion reaction going. So a fission reactor malfunction can lead to a meltdown, but all a fusion reactor malfunction would do is lead to a shutdown. In many sci-fi stories, the advent of efficient fusion engines is a giant step forward in society. I believe predictions are for the next several decades with that stuff. Add to that possible He3 deposits on the moon (He3/Deuterium is the best kind of fuel for fusion reactors) and we could be talking some very powerful engines to get us to Mars and beyond.
I agree with you. This is a stage we have to go through to get to the next big advancement... and even if nuclear power has hit its apex, it's still a very justifiable fuel source even ignoring the beneficial possibilities in the future.
 

Neon

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Which isn't completely insane. Sometimes fucking with shit will be dangerous. I personally don't think that's the case here. I also love the mentality of the people against this... "we won't know for 50 years what this is doing to us, so we should wait until then to sign off on it". Well unless we're doing it, we'll be in the exact same place in 50 years. Sometimes progress requires a certain amount of acceptable risk.

How about a compromise? They can only sell the food to Mexico for the next ten years.
It's funny that these are the same people who want facial creams with embryonic stem cells in them, but god forbid you make wheat that doesn't die when it gets cold and causes a horrific rise in bread prices.
 

Hudson

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Yup, that blows my mind also. Nuclear energy is awesome, and will lead to amazing advancements if we support it.

The funniest thing I had heard in a while was people in San Francisco protesting the wind mills in the foothills because birds were flying into them and dying.
Supposedly they are creating static electricity that cook the birds..and also fucks up the bats sonar and is killing them like crazy too ..like the fungus that is killing them off.
 

Neon

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This is going to sound really "Kirkish" but I am sorry.....something scares me on a very fundamental level.(and yes, it is probably my strict catholic upbringing or all the horror movies I saw as a kid.) I know that technically we have been genetically engineering our foodstuffs and livestock for centuries. That's fine. But when you start injecting spider genes into corn to make the stalks heartier, insert a tomato gene into a cow so it grows more beef, or inserting whatever...it doesn't bother someone that there might be a ripple effect..mutation of stuff that has lay dormant in what we are fiddling with since man first walked upright?
EDIT: Holy shit!!!! I just became Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park!!!!!
Fuck!
I understand what you're saying, but this isn't the wizrdry that you think it is. They don't just set the genetic fuse and run away. These things are done slowly, and you check and recheck things. This isn't so much about an accidental mutation that causes the Bubonic Plague x 1000. It's more about minor changes that could maybe in some cases cause increased susceptibility to something or other. Do you really think that geneticists in the food industry want their life's work to be a massive wave of cancer?
 

Hudson

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I understand what you're saying, but this isn't the wizrdry that you think it is. They don't just set the genetic fuse and run away. These things are done slowly, and you check and recheck things. This isn't so much about an accidental mutation that causes the Bubonic Plague x 1000. It's more about minor changes that could maybe in some cases cause increased susceptibility to something or other. Do you really think that geneticists in the food industry want their life's work to be a massive wave of cancer?
Do you believe that corners are not cut? And it I am not talking about something we will see in a year or two...I am saying in like 5 -10 years..something we didn't see, something we didn't notice or knew what it did..
 

Neon

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Do you believe that corners are not cut? And it I am not talking about something we will see in a year or two...I am saying in like 5 -10 years..something we didn't see, something we didn't notice or knew what it did..
Do you understand how vague the scenario you are describing is? Something like that could happen with anything, no matter how much you check it. We are also both speaking out of complete ignorance here. Can a spider gene in a cow cause cancer? And by that I mean, is that even fucking POSSIBLE? Here's what I mean: No matter how much saline you give someone via IV, they will never get drunk. Correct? That's just chemically impossible. Is that the case with genetic modification of food? Do you know, or are you just assuming because they are both things that can be controlled by genes?
 

Hudson

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Do you understand how vague the scenario you are describing is? Something like that could happen with anything, no matter how much you check it. We are also both speaking out of complete ignorance here. Can a spider gene in a cow cause cancer? And by that I mean, is that even fucking POSSIBLE? Here's what I mean: No matter how much saline you give someone via IV, they will never get drunk. Correct? That's just chemically impossible. Is that the case with genetic modification of food? Do you know, or are you just assuming because they are both things that can be controlled by genes?
Actually, yes you can get drunk by pushing too much saline. At least in theory, I never heard of anyone trying it.