Monsanto law undermines democracy, public health

  • Article by: REKHA BASU , Scripps Howard News Service
  • Updated: April 9, 2013 - 10:17 AM

It takes away the power of U.S. courts to block the planting and sale of genetically modified seeds, even if evidence indicates they are harmful.

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cynical1Apr. 9, 1310:51 AM

We are on the wrong direction with reckless companies like Monsanto who have run amok for far too long without any serious oversight. Time to take a hard look at what these companies are allowed to do.

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FrankLApr. 9, 1311:39 AM

Perhaps this hysterical author could try to write a followup piece and explain what is in the bill and what type of court actions it is trying to forestall. My guess is that this bill is to prevent organic farmers from using the courts to tell their neighbors what kind of crops they can plant because of cross pollination concerns. This would be like your neighbor who wants to plant heirloom tomatoes going to court to prevent the neighbors from planting their Better Boys.

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cman22Apr. 9, 1311:42 AM

Profits of Monsanto last year: 1.7 Billion Profits of Apple in one QUARTER: about 13 Billion Urbanites who know nothing about agriculture are sipping lattes at Starbucks while typing conspiracy theories about Monsanto on their Apples. They have misdirected priorities.

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davehougApr. 9, 1312:01 PM

“Its model of agriculture brings higher costs for farmers in the United States and abroad, while Monsanto and other biotech companies reap the profits,” - - - What did we expect when we set up a system of massive $ to get elected??? Every campaign ad came from some place. If we do not want our legislature bought and paid for, we should not require $$$$ election campaigns.

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defectabortApr. 9, 1312:15 PM

Plenty of eyes were on this bill before it was passed but those eyes were all bought, sold and corrupted before the vote.

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taworne1Apr. 9, 1312:27 PM

You will never get just food rules as long as Monsanto employees get high paying jobs at the FDA , the USDA - and did anyone mention that Clarence Thomas used to do legal work for them - he wrote the majority opinion that allowed them to patent their seeds. About 90% of US soybeans contain Monsanto's patented (genetically modified) gene. We are at the mercy of the huge bio/ag conglomerates. We have no recourse. You can't even sue them and win. They will just keep throwing money (and lawyers) at you until you give up. They have nearly 200 investigators and lawyers roving the country looking for people who violate their patent by allowing their plants to be wind pollinated by the patented plants. If Monsanto's plant pollen crosses with your non-patented soybeans - they still own the genes. You violate patent law if you put those soybeans back in the ground next year.

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tropicalmnApr. 9, 13 1:10 PM

"They have nearly 200 investigators and lawyers roving the country looking for people who violate their patent by allowing their plants to be wind pollinated by the patented plants. If Monsanto's plant pollen crosses with your non-patented soybeans - they still own the genes." More inane urban legend hysteria.Soybeans DO NOT wind pollinate.

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EleanoreApr. 9, 13 1:33 PM

I think the important thing to remember here is this is another illegal failure of leadership from hope and change. Corporatisim at this level is a documented enemy of our nation. We need to remove the rebellious from positions where they can harm us like this. God help monsanto because I don't know anyone who will now.

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tropicalmnApr. 9, 13 1:45 PM

So anybody wonder why the opinion writer’s only sources of information are Mother Jones magazine, Food Democracy Now, and Food & Water Watch — each with an anti-technology in agriculture agenda? To date, no court has ever held that a biotechnology crop presents a risk to health, safety or the environment. It’s not because the courts or the government approval process is lax. Companies are required to provide years of internal and independent data, which are carefully reviewed by various government agencies. The USDA cannot approve a new seed variety until it conducts an Environmental Assessment. By law, the EA must consider any and all factors relating to the “human environment,” which is very ambiguously defined, leaving all kinds of legal openings for fringe anti-biotech activist groups to target.If the activist’s group’s challenges the EA for not considering one issue or another, the assessment can be deemed insufficient and a new one must be ordered.

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cman22Apr. 9, 13 2:07 PM

This bill will help farmers fight against frivolous lawsuits which have been happening in regards to GMO Crops. In 2009-10 a federal judge stopped further use of approved GMO sugar beets because of a frivolous lawsuit. Planting season does not wait. Most planting seed available was only the already approved GMO. This would have sent Minnesota beet farmers into chaos. One of the claimed issues was a non-issue in reality. The lawsuit claimed pollen drift was an problem. Beets are a biennial plant and flowers the second year. Beets are harvested the first year. There is no GMO pollen to even drift on Minnesota beet farms. This is how silly these things get. We need to think about farmers too and not just the political agendas of the antiGMO crowd. And by the way, nearly all science is proGMO. There is NO unbiased data to show otherwise. none. zero. Even the antiGMO are starting to realize this since they have spread so-called science data which supposedly showed cancer links to GMO corn, but the data turned out to be bogus.

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