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Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' written by Monsanto-sponsored senator


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#1 key2thecup

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:08 PM

Obama signs 'Monsanto Protection Act' written by Monsanto-sponsored senator

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United States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.

On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the California-based Monsanto Company from litigation.
With the president’s signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers.

In light of approval from the House and Senate, more than 250,000 people signed a petition asking the president to veto the spending bill over the biotech rider tacked on, an item that has since been widely referred to as the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

“But Obama ignored [the petition],” IB Times’ Connor Sheets writes, “instead choosing to sign a bill that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place, explains a little more thoroughly just how dangerous the rider is now that biotech companies are allowed to bypass judicial scrutiny. Up until it was signed, he writes, “the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer.”

If the president’s signature isn’t all that surprising, though, consider the genesis of the bill itself. According to an article published Monday in the New York Daily News, US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) “worked with Monsanto to craft the language in the bill.”

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Sen. Blunt defended his bill to the News, shrugging off suggestions that it set a startling precedent that will affect all US agriculture by firing back, “What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it. But it is only a one-year protection in that bill.”

One year could be all it takes to cause catastrophic damage to the environment by allowing laboratory-produced organisms to be planted into the earth without oversight. Under the Monsanto Protection Act, health concerns that arise in the immediate future involving the planting of GMO crops won’t be able to be heard by a judge. Blunt, a junior senator that has held elected office since the late ‘90s, has good reason to whitewash the very bill he helped craft. The Center for Responsive Politics notes that Sen. Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto to go towards his campaign committee between 2008 and 2012. The Money Monocle website adds that Blunt has been the largest Republican Party recipient of Monsanto funding as of late.

On the lawmaker’s official website, a statement explains a little more as to why he favored HR 933 and the rider within it.

“As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Senator Blunt played a vital role in writing the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This legislation maintained vital support for research and extension at land grant universities, capacity building grants for non-land grant colleges of agriculture, and competitive funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The bill also included funding for conservation activities, housing and business loan programs for rural communities, domestic and international nutrition programs.”

Nowhere does the senator’s site mention the Monsanto Protection Act by name, although it claims Blunt “supports continued investments in agricultural research and engineering.”
“Did Blunt not realize that Monsanto would stand to gain significantly if section 735 survived and HR 933 was signed into law?” asks Brumley. “Not likely,”

“There’s no way of getting around the fact this is an abusive conflict of interest,” he says.
Clearly isn’t Brumley the only one that feels that way either: Blunt’s Wikipedia page was vandalized this week to read in the first paragraph, “His Senate seat was previously held by Republican Kit Bond, until Bond's retirement, and will be sold by Blunt to Monsanto Corporation upon his retirement.”

http://rt.com/usa/monsanto-bill-blunt-agriculture-006/


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#2 BiginJapan

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:20 PM

Most members of Congress/Parliament/etc. are pretty much owned by one company or another, but you really have to wonder what's behind this rider.

Is it just about helping Monsanto make more money? Or is the beginning of a legal corporatocracy being formed before our eyes?

All of this wouldn't be so bad if GMO labeling was in effect. At least that way, consumers could exercise their last remaining domain of power - how they spend their money. I for one, will no longer buy food originating from the US (easy for me because I live in Asia).

At any rate, this is frightening.

Edited by BiginJapan, 28 March 2013 - 09:25 PM.

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#3 Ghostsof1915

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:26 PM

Monstanto and Cargill are some of the most evil companies on the planet.

Shame on Obama, it's clear democracy is dead, it's unchecked corporate greed.
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#4 Blackberries

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:26 PM

Monsato is the closest thing to umbrella corp.
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#5 Nucksfreak

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 09:44 PM

another blow ...

for anyone who doesn't know how bad Monsanto is, there are tons of information online but here are a few:

http://mikebigioni.h...-Seed-at-a-Time
http://bestmeal.info...y-history.shtml
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#6 etsen3

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:21 PM

Disgusting that even guys like Obama that are supposed to be for "the little guy" not only allow but are a part of this type of corruption.
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#7 VanNuck

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:27 PM

Disgusting that even guys like Obama that are supposed to be for "the little guy" not only allow but are a part of this type of corruption.


And to think Canadians want someone like Obama... It's disgusting, he waltzes into office for the "little guy" only to turn around and totally abuse power like this. If you think Harper's anti-democratic, you ain't seen nothing yet. (Fortunately, our economy is far better).
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#8 nucklehead

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Posted 28 March 2013 - 10:27 PM

It's too late to stop it now but you can sign a petition to demand mandatory labeling of GMO foods... for what's it's worth.

http://action.foodde..._to_label_gmos/
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#9 DarthNinja

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 02:11 PM

Disgusting that even guys like Obama that are supposed to be for "the little guy" not only allow but are a part of this type of corruption.


And what ever gave you this impression? Because "he said so" before he got elected? :rolleyes:
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#10 Buggernut

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:31 PM

And what ever gave you this impression? Because "he said so" before he got elected? :rolleyes:


How about the words "transparency and accountability"?
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#11 key2thecup

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:32 PM

How about the words "transparency and accountability"?


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#12 G.K. Chesterton

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:40 PM

Here's an interesting article from a former anti-GMO scientist.

http://www2.macleans...rong-all-wrong/
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#13 etsen3

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 03:55 PM

And what ever gave you this impression? Because "he said so" before he got elected? :rolleyes:


Exactly what I mean...Obama gave off the impression that he was an honest and trustworthy guy that was on the average person's side and many people bought into it. He was supposed to be more accountable and "change" things. I would still take him over Mitt Romney 8 days of the week, but things like this and the NDAA show that what many people consider "the good guys" are still involved in shady government corruption and thirst for power.
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#14 Electro Rock

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:02 PM

It's a good thing a left wing rather than a right wing fascist signed off on this, otherwise a lot more of the media would be on his case.
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#15 Buggernut

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:40 PM

Here's an interesting article from a former anti-GMO scientist.

http://www2.macleans...rong-all-wrong/


Since he's in the UK, I wonder if the strange and mysterious deaths of Sean Hoar and Dr. David Kelly influenced his decision.
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#16 Buggernut

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:41 PM

Exactly what I mean...Obama gave off the impression that he was an honest and trustworthy guy that was on the average person's side and many people bought into it. He was supposed to be more accountable and "change" things. I would still take him over Mitt Romney 8 days of the week, but things like this and the NDAA show that what many people consider "the good guys" are still involved in shady government corruption and thirst for power.


Ask John F Kennedy what happens to US Presidents that disobey their backroom corporate masters.
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#17 Common sense

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 04:47 PM

Change you can believe in, starting with your food.
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#18 DarthNinja

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 05:06 PM

Ask John F Kennedy what happens to US Presidents that disobey their backroom corporate masters.


Let's not also forget about James Garfield and Andrew Jackson...

"The bank, Mr. Van Buren, is trying to kill me..." (Andrew Jackson).


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#19 kyledude

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Posted 29 March 2013 - 06:13 PM

It's a good thing a left wing rather than a right wing fascist signed off on this, otherwise a lot more of the media would be on his case.


It wouldn't make any difference because the corporate media always plays to the power structure. They love the fact that Monsanto operates with impunity.

Obama may be a tyrant, but in the end he's just an employee of the system. His job is to attend photo ops and read from the teleprompter.

Edited by kyledude, 29 March 2013 - 06:13 PM.

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#20 Buggernut

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:38 AM

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#21 NikiShiz

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:46 AM

Its shocking how many people have no idea what Monsanto is. Horrible, horrible company. I'm very disappointed.
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#22 Gustavo Fring

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 12:53 AM

Corporations run the world now. Goodbye liberty, hello tyranny.
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#23 Rypien37

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 01:06 AM

Not really a surprise anymore. Standard operating procedure for a while now.

What really is sad is that this page only has a hand full of comments, yet effects pretty much everyone...and their health.

Edited by Rypien37, 12 May 2013 - 01:07 AM.

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#24 Scott Hartnell's Mane

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 04:01 AM

Monsanto is pure ???? evil and the list of companies that use their products is now so vast and so disheartening that I avoid all major grocery chains. It's almost easier now to write up a short list of the companies that DON'T use genetically modified ingredients. Whole Foods, Home Economist (now Healthy Home Market), World Market, health food stores...these are the only places I shop now. How in the hell this ever got passed is mind-boggling to me...and yet people still stuff their faces with their particular brand of poison....Kellogg's, Post, Quaker, General Mills...all the cereal brands that my family used to trust...they are now Monsanto...and I have to pay 4 dollars for a box of Mom's Best or Nature's Path or Barbara's cereal...but it's absolutely worth it, knowing I'm not taking any of Monsanto's regulated poison into my body. I've attended two protests against these diabolical people and will continue to do so. I make people aware, when I visit a grocery store with my brother or my mother..that these foods that are being produced now from companies such as Kraft and Nestle and even Morningstar Farms now are incredibly unhealthy for them...and while there aren't many who listen...if at least one person decides to stop buying these things...then my efforts are not completely in vain. Swear to you people the red herring ought to be the US national fish...because I'm willing to wager that this passed right under everyone's nose while they were yelling about gun control and homosexual marriage.
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#25 Special Ed

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 08:54 AM

Weird I know basically 0% about this company. Better start reading up I guess.
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#26 hsedin33

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:42 AM

As if they would go to jail without this protection act.
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#27 Wetcoaster

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:08 AM

The process sounds a lot like how the NRA has crafted the language of various pieces of legislation to protect itself.

The most blatant example being the exemption for gun manufacturers being sued under general product liability law for what is by any definition a "dangerous good".

The US Congress enacted a law in 2005 that was signed by President Bush — under heavy lobbying from the NRA and the gun industry — that gives gun manufacturers and dealers broad immunity from being sued. The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) shields the gun industry even when it makes guns that are unnecessarily dangerous and sells them recklessly.


The 2005 law has drawn attacks from gun control advocates and constitutional scholars, who portray it as a powerful insulator for gun manufacturers. Why should gun manufacturers, they ask, enjoy a special liability protection not available to other companies that make potentially lethal products?


"Gun companies should be treated the same as any other company. There is no reason to give them special exemption from litigation," said Erwin Chemerinsky, dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law. "It is an outrageous piece of legislation."


Gun control advocates said they see a lawsuit in Alaska as their best hope to overturn the law. The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence has challenged the constitutionality of the gunmaker shield law in a case involving a rifle taken from a gun shop by a convicted felon.


The origins of the shield law stemmed from a rising tide of litigation against the gun companies by crime victims. In most of these cases, plaintiffs alleged that the company was negligent in not forcing the dealers of its products to properly abide by existing laws that prohibit, for example, convicted felons from obtaining a firearm.


The most significant of these cases, and the one perceived as most damaging by the gun lobby, was brought by the families of the 13 people killed or seriously injured over a three-week span by the Washington, D.C.-area snipers, John Muhammad and Lee Malvo. The pair used a .223 Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle, similar to the one police said was used by Adam Lanza to kill 20 children in 6 adults with brutal efficiency in Newtown last week.



In 2004, Bushmaster and the gun dealer settled the lawsuit for $2.5 million in a case that gun control advocates hailed as a "major breakthrough."

The gun lobby agreed. The next year, following a fierce lobbying campaign by the NRA, Congress approved the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which offers a broad shield against lawsuits filed by victims of gun violence. The law does not provide 100 percent immunity, and the The Brady Center, which represented the families in the sniper shooting case, has challenged its constitutionality.

But in the years since, the law has done what the industry wanted: offer protection against litigation that targets it for liability when guns are used to commit crimes. The law also ended all existing lawsuits.

Wayne LaPierre, the NRA chief executive, hailed the legislative victory as a "historic day for the NRA and also for the Second Amendment." He said Congress "saved the firearms industry" by protecting it against "a blizzard of litigation to bankrupt the industry by legal fees."

In the Senate, the legislation won support from 15 Democrats, mostly from pro-gun states, including Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, now the majority leader. President Barack Obama, then a senator from Illinois, and Vice President Joe Biden, a senator from Delaware, voted against the measure.

The language of the bill hewed closely to the NRA's position. "The possibility of imposing liability on an entire industry for harm that is solely caused by others is an abuse of the legal system," the law says.

The NRA did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

The Brady Center also did not respond to a request for comment. After the law passed, a top lawyer vowed to "vigorously attack the law in courts." The Brady Center has continued to bring liability cases against gunmakers and sellers, citing exemptions in the law.

"Well-pleaded, carefully crafted cases can still proceed against irresponsible gun companies," wrote Daniel Vice, an attorney for the group, in a guide for lawyers who want to sue gun companies.

The Brady Center is currently handling a case it hopes to use to overturn the shield law. In 2006, Jason Coday, a drifter with a lengthy arrest record, shot and killed Simone Kim, a contract painter, outside of a grocery store in Juneau, Alaska, where he was working. The two men did not know each other.

Coday was prohibited under federal law from purchasing a firearm, but two days before the shooting he walked out of a gun store in Juneau with a Ruger .22-caliber rifle. Ray Coxe, the owner of the store, claimed Coday stole the gun when his back was turned and left $200 on the counter.

In 2008, Kim's family sued, alleging that Coxe knowingly allowed Coday to pay for the gun without first getting a background check. Two years later, a state judge dismissed the case, citing the lawsuit shield law, which protects gun shops and manufactures against civil claims arising from the "misuse of their products by others." The family appealed to the Alaska Supreme Court, which heard the case earlier this year. A decision is pending.

Even if the shield law were immediately repealed, it is unclear whether the Newtown shooting victims would have a case to make against Bushmaster, part of the Freedom Group of arms and ammunition makers owned by Cereberus Capital. (Cereberus said on Tuesday it was putting the Freedom Group up for sale because of the massacre.)

According to news reports, the Bushmaster assault-style weapon used in the shooting was legally purchased by Nancy Lanza, the gunman's mother. That wasn't true with the Washington, D.C. sniper case.

The sniper Bushmaster came from Bull's Eye, a gun shop in Washington state. Lee Malvo told investigators he stole the gun. Lawyers for the shooting victims claimed the retailer had acted negligently in allowing this to happen. Bushmaster, the victims claimed, acted recklessly in not ensuring that its dealer prevented the gun from falling into criminal hands.

The lawsuit cited a report by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which determined that Bull's Eye could not account for 238 guns that should have been in its inventory.

http://www.huffingto..._n_2325721.html
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#28 Wetcoaster

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 11:10 AM

As if they would go to jail without this protection act.

The protection is not so much from jail but rather the severe limitation of the courts to intervene on issues of public health.
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#29 key2thecup

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:18 PM

^ Love how Wet turns a Monstanto thread into a attack on the NRA and guns
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#30 Wetcoaster

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 02:29 PM

^ Love how Wet turns a Monstanto thread into a attack on the NRA and guns

Similar protections given legislative force by bought and paid for US legislators who are in truth industry lobbyists.
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