Now that I’ve decided to examine the way Monsanto has interacted with politics and legislation, the big, “elephant in the room,” topic, so to speak, would be the infamous Farmer Assurace Provision, more commonly known as the Monsanto Protection Act. The Farmer Assurance Provision, which was added to a government funding bill and passed in 2013, is probably the most obvious and famous example of Monsanto interacting with the government. Essentially, the bill allowed farmers to continue with their use of genetically modified crops, even if a court had blocked their use due to health concerns. Desipte the bill being signed into law, it was removed the following September prior to government shutdown, and nothing similar to it has been reinstated since.
Prior to beginning this project, I had never heard of the Farmer Assurance Provision, but upon hearing about it, my first reaction was to be extremely alarmed, despite the fact that the law is no longer in place two years later. At its most basic level, the law essentially protects companies such as Monsanto from having any consequences if any of their products turn out to be harmful. Upon further research, I found that not only did the law protect Monsanto, but that there is evidence that Monsanto worked directly with Senators on its creation. Monsanto’s products and company goals aside, I found it frightening that a large corporation was able to have such a direct impact on a law that obviously majorly gave them the upper hand.
Personally, I think that the fact that the law even existed set a dangerous precedent for how the government will interact with Monsanto in the future. How can we be sure that we’ll be protected from consuming food that could potentially be harmful? At what point do we draw the line when it comes to the interaction between large, controversial corporations like Monsanto and the government?