The Monsanto Protection Act

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, MonsantoProtectionAct040113and 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?

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3 thoughts on “The Monsanto Protection Act

  1. This post raises many concerning topics. For starters, I am immediately concerned about the implications of a monopoly, such as Monsanto, having so much influence in the government. Isn’t our government supposed to represent the people and hold their interests above those of a money and power-crazed corporation? I am then further alarmed by the realization that people really don’t know what is in their food. There is a cultural habit of just accepting that the government will make sure food stocked on the shelves of grocery stores is safe. Why is there such a lack of curiosity among Americans about where the food comes from? Perhaps it is an ignorant bliss or perhaps other priorities take precedence. My personal opinion is that food-producing corporations should be required to be entirely transparent about what chemicals are involved in the production of their food as well as indicate any additives on the packaging. This will enable consumers to make more educated and conscious decisions on what they put in their bodies. Great post overall–very thought provoking.

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  2. It is very alarming that a company would not be penalized for knowingly providing the public with extremely harmful products. It is false advertising. Also, the evidence of Monsanto working with the government to create this legislation was shocking. Big business acting hand in hand with government is the type of corruption we thought we had corrected since the industrial revolution. This post was eloquently put and very well organized. I like how you remained unbiased in presenting the information; it made the questions you posed at the end about the future of public consumer health and government/business interaction stronger. After reading, I now wonder what happened to this law. Why was the law was removed a year later? Did people become aware of the connections that were formed behind the scenes?

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    1. I agree! My first reaction when I read about this law was to be extremely alarmed by the way the government seemed to be giving automatic protection to GMO crops, when we can’t even be completely sure of their safety. To answer your question, the law was actually removed in 2013 prior to the government shutdown – I believe it was removed in attempt to try to halt the impending shutdown before it happened. To me, this is cause for even more concern. Despite the fact that there was significant resistance by citizens when the law was put in place, it was only removed in attempt to avoid government shutdown, not because people became aware of its somewhat dangerous implications.

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