Category Archives: monsanto protection act

A DARK Day: The End Of Food Freedom?

By Tami Canal, MAM Founder 

More of our democracy has died today. Despite the nearly 93% of American people that demand GMO labeling, today, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of mighty corporations and the Grocery Manufacturers Association to circumvent any right We The People have to know what’s in the food we buy and feed our families.

Big dollars and biotech influence in D.C. have once again reigned supreme. It is an abomination that our elected officials time and again do the bidding of rich corporations instead of fulfilling the demands of the very people who put them in office.

We will not stop. The cronyism and corruption on display today is one of the fundamental reasons March Against Monsanto was created. It is our time in history to stop the corporate hijacking of our food supply.

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This is not a fight to shelve for another generation. We are hanging on to the shreds of food freedom and, if we do not act, if we do not become a greater force to be reckoned with, all will be lost. Do not give up hope. We will march on.

Although the passing of the DARK Act today is a defeat, we still hold the power. Never has it been more important to grow your own food and support local farmers. Continue to stand by companies who are responsible.

And most importantly, wield your greatest weapon: the almighty dollar. Boycott Monsanto and other corporations who routinely choose wealth before health and profit over people. We hope to see everyone at the Food Justice March in D.C. October 16-17, 2015.

Remember the Monsanto Protection Act? It’s Back, and Worse Than Ever Before

The Monsanto Protection Act became one of the most infamous pieces of legislation in recent U.S. history, prompting a massive backlash in 2014.

But now a new bill disguised as a “GMO labeling” act has been introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo, causing one major consumer group to label it perhaps even worse than the Monsanto Protection Act.

According to the Center for Food Safety, Rep. Pompeo’s bill has been greatly expanded to actually prohibit all labeling of GMO foods, while making it unlawful for states of local governments to restrict GM crops in any way.

The bill, H.R. 1599, will be discussed at a House hearing on Thursday.

“The Monsanto Protection Act is back, and it’s even worse than before. This bill would strip away a state or local government’s basic rights of local control, and hands the biotech industry everything it wants on a silver platter. No Member of Congress that cares about the rights and concerns of his or her constituents should support this bill,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at Center for Food Safety in this press release from the CFS.

PHOTO: Common Dreams/OCA

PHOTO: Common Dreams/OCA

 

State, Local Laws Undermined

The center also said that the bill would further weaken the federal regulation of GM crops while also forbidding local communities to create laws against them, such as the recent ban in Jackson County, Oregon.

Other similar ordinances have passed in Hawaii, California and Washington State, but would be voided under the bill, which has been dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act.

The bill would “undemocratically nullify” GM crop regulations that have been on the books in across the country for years.

For more on the “New Monsanto Protection Act” check out the press release here.

Monsanto’s growing monopoly

Monsanto’s growing monopoly:

When the Supreme Court unanimously sided with Monsanto recently, it upheld the company’s right to prohibit the replanting of patented seed – handing the biotech giant a major victory. The court ruled that the doctrine of “patent exhaustion,” which an Indiana farmer argued should apply after the first sale of patented seed, “does not permit a farmer to reproduce patented seeds through planting and harvesting without the patent holder’s permission.”

It’s not surprising the court ruled in Monsanto’s favor. Still, the case had merit: The farmer, Vernon Hugh Bowman, wasn’t challenging Monsanto’s claims that he knowingly planted seed with its protected genetics. Instead, he challenged the way patent law is currently applied to self-replicating products – a worthy effort, considering the injustices patents on seed have sown across America.

It’s relatively well understood that simply using seed with patented genetics – especially widely planted genetically engineered varieties, such as Roundup Ready soybeans – enters the user into a restrictive licensing agreement. Farmers sign these agreements at the time of sale, which includes a prohibition on planting more than one crop. The seed packaging also states that simply opening the bag binds the user to the agreement.

But Bowman thought that by purchasing soybean seed from a grain elevator he had found a legal way to plant seed from subsequent generations. He assumed the seed contained patented genetics but argued that the patent exhaustion doctrine allowed him to plant them anyway. Nevertheless, the Federal Circuit Court ruled, and the Supreme Court agreed, that Mr. Bowman must pay Monsanto more than $80,000.

read more - http://www.salon.com/2013/05/30/monsantos_patent_lawyers_get_a_gift_from_the_supreme_court/