Monsanto Protection Act Finale

SUBHEAD: The last chance to stop the federal legislation to grow potentially unsafe GMO crops is an Obama veto.

By Staff on 22 March 2013 for Food Democracy Now -

Image above: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama adjusts a flower behind the ear of his daughter Maila, 10, as they walk on Kailua Beach in Kailua, Hawaii, Tuesday, 8/12/08, during their vacation in Hawaii. From (

[IB Editor's note:  The photo above is from 2008, before Barack Obama became president. It was a quiet moment with his eldest daughter as they walked along a beach in Hawaii - their home. If the Obama's want to return to Hawaii as a safe place for their family, he should realize the threat that GMO pose to Hawaii and ultimately the rest of the world. He should increase regulation and control over corporations intent on the ownership of food and life.]

This is the fight of the century, either corporations like Monsanto will rule America with an iron fist or we will rise up and take our country back. It's that simple.

Tell President Obama to veto the Monsanto Protection Act!

 Go here ( to sign petition. See sample of petition being sent below.

Dear President Obama,

I am writing to demand that you veto HR 933. I am outraged that the “farmer assurance provision”, Section 735, currently included in HR 933, was not struck from the Continuing Resolution spending bill passed by Congress.

Though wrapped in a “farmer-friendly” package, this provision is simply an industry ploy to continue to sell genetically engineered (GMO) seeds even when a court of law has found they were approved by USDA illegally. It is unnecessary and an unprecedented attack on U.S. judicial review. Congress should not be meddling with the judicial review process based solely on the special interest of a handful of companies.

The judicial review process is an essential element of U.S law and serves as a vital check on any federal agency decision that may negatively impact human health, the environment or the livelihood of farmers, yet this provision seeks an end-run around such judicial review by preemptively deciding that industry can set its own conditions to continue to sell biotech seeds, even if a court may find them to have been wrongfully approved.

The provision further forces USDA to immediately approve any permits for continued planting at the industry's request, putting industry completely in charge by allowing for a “back door approval” mechanism. USDA’s duty is to protect the interests of all farmers and the environment, a duty that would be eliminated by this provision.

The provision is also completely unnecessary. Every court to decide these issues has carefully weighed the interests of farmers, as is already required by law. I demand that this dangerous and unconstitutional rider be struck from HR 933, the Continuing Resolution by the President before signing this bill.
Please protect the American people, our Constitution and our farmers and veto HR 933.

Late Friday evening we electronically delivered more than 100,000 comments from Food Democracy Now! members from all 50 states to the White House calling for President Obama to veto the Monsanto Protection Act.

This is in an incredible response from Americans who are outraged that once again Congress has allowed Monsanto lobbyists to undermine our most basic and fundamental rights in another shady backroom deal.

Right now, H.R. 933 - with its poison biotech pill - is sitting on President Obama’s desk waiting for him to sign it. We need you to contact President Obama before he signs and HR 933 and the Monsanto Protection Act become law.

When he first ran for president, Barack Obama promised to clean up Washington’s culture of corruption, pledging to put an end to the revolving door and backroom deals with lobbyists. Sure, we know that hasn’t happened yet, but with your help it could today.

Now is President Obama’s chance to make true on that promise. Either he is for the American people and our democratic rights or he supports Monsanto and corporate lobbyists undermining our basic rights. We already know that Congress has abandoned us.

The choice is clear, President Obama can veto H.R. 933 or he can side with Monsanto.

Already people are telling us that this is a fight we cannot win. That's because Section 735, the Monsanto Protection Act, is a small provision snuck into a 841 page “appropriations bill for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and other departments and agencies for the fiscal year 2013” so the President "has to sign it".

We disagree. As a Constitutional law scholar, President Obama understands better than anyone the threat the Monsanto Protection Act poses to our Constitution and our democracy. Unfortunately, President Obama does not have the option of a line item veto, and the only recourse is for him to veto the entire bill.

Don’t worry, we understand the odds. More importantly we know the odds if we don't stand up. This is a corporate coup d'etat and Monsanto and everyone else in Washington DC wants you to be quiet.

But we can’t afford to. There’s too much at stake to sit silent. Some say it will only last 6 months and expire in September. And we think that’s much too long. Here at Food Democracy Now! we’re not willing to surrender our democratic rights for even one second. As long as these bastards work to undermine our rights we will fight them. And with your help, we’re just getting started.

What’s at stake:

By sneaking Section 735 into a federal appropriations bills, Monsanto has successfully planted a dangerous provision in U.S. law that strips judges of their constitutional mandate to protect American’s health and the environment while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new, untested genetically engineered crops.

Even if their new GMO crops are ultimately proven to be harmful to human health or the environment, Section 735 allows them to be planted the minute the USDA approves them!

Even more alarming, currently 13 new crops are awaiting approval at the USDA and AquaBounty’s GMO salmon is on the verge of being approved by the FDA. This new provision opens the door wide open for these approvals.

The floodgates would literally be open for Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical’s new GMO crops that are resistant to more toxic chemicals like 2,4-D, Agent Orange and dicamba that will replace failing Roundup Ready GMO crops.

According to legal experts, this provision would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review and is a dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards needed to protect America’s farmers, citizens and the environment from the wanton approval of Monsanto's new GMO crops.

1. "H.R. 933: Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013", passed Congress March 22, 2013 containing Section 735, Monsanto Protection Act.

Monsanto Protection Act language:

Sec. 735. 
In the event that a determination of non-regulated status made pursuant to section 411 of the Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the Secretary of Agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law, upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412(c) of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorize the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialization and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimize potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the Secretary’s evaluation of the petition for non-regulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorized activities in a timely manner:
Provided, That all such conditions shall be applicable only for the interim period necessary for the Secretary to complete any required analyses or consultations related to the petition for non-regulated status: Provided further, That nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the Secretary’s authority under section 411, 412 and 414 of the Plant Protection Act.
2. “H.R. 933: Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year ... (Concurring in the Senate Amendment)”, which contains Section 735, the Monsanto Protection Act passes Congress 318-109.
3. “H.R. 933: Department of Defense, Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Full-Year (On Passage of the Bill)” March 20, 2013
4. “House Votes to Prevent Government Shutdown, Support Troops and Veterans”, March 6, 2013
5. “Monsanto Protection Act, Section 735 Language from Senate Continuing Resolution, HR 933,” Passed Senate vote 73-26, March 20, 2013  Page 80
6. “Sen. Tester: Who Put These Agribiz-Friendly Riders into This Unrelated Bill?” Mother Jones, March 15, 2013
7. "‘Monsanto Protection Act’ would keep GMO crops in the ground during legal battles ", Grist, June 29, 2012

See also:
Ea O Ka Aina: Monsanto Protection Bill Passes 3/21/13
Ea O Ka Aina: Stop Monsanto Potection Bill 3/15/13

1 comment :

Jon Letman said...

Here's the roll call for H.R. 933 in black and white. T.Gabbard- Yea, C. Hanabusa, Nay.

more info here:

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