An extra provision into HR 933—a bill necessary for government to continue to flow financially—overrode judicial authority and allows Monsanto and other GMO producers to make, sell, and plant GM foods regardless of consequence.
That means if it turns out that GM food is bad for us, causes disease, harms the environment, or whatever other conceivable outcome, judges can’t rule against Monsanto (or others), can’t tell them no. (Note: the politicians who voted for the bill claim they didn’t read it carefully and had no idea about the Monsanto Protection Act, as it’s being called by detractors. Inspiring.)
Now, within the US there’s no real research going on about the safety of GM foods—if you’ve seen the film Thank You For Smoking, it’s something like that. Monsanto funds scientific research not just within the US, but around the globe, often through a series of smaller companies. Allegations have been made that if someone comes up with a study showing negative outcomes of GM foods, their funding is suddenly threatened.
Nevertheless, a few studies have come out—and they’ve shown GM foods in a bad light. Studies have found a possible connection to the stillbirths and infertility in livestock that’s been creeping up by finding the same traits in GM fed rodents after a few generations. Because the research going on is so little, however, more studies need to be done to verify the findings.
At the very least, GM foods have a much higher pesticide content, because they’re engineered to work with the super strength herbicide Round Up by absorbing it so less has to be sprayed on crops.
Since Monsanto now has strong government protection, if you don’t want to eat GM foods you need to vote with your wallet. Don’t buy mass produced foods—if you can (it’s pretty much impossible to avoid unless you go full homesteading!). Soy and corn, which are in almost everything, are almost always from GE seeds. If you want premade food, spend an extra dollar and buy organic, which definitionally can’t be GMO.
It is not legally required that GM foods be labelled, so you have to read ingredients and make some assumptions. Even some organic foods don’t have every ingredient be organic, and asterisks on the label will indicate that.
Another option is to buy imported food. Europe has banned GM foods and crops, so anything they make will be GM free (make sure it was made in Europe though—some European brands, like Cadbury, are licensed to US companies and have lower quality versions of their products that are made here).
Unfortunately, even voting with your dollar will have a limited effect. GE seeds are known to contaminate the crops of organic farms, which has lead to problems where organic farmers are (completely ridiculously) sued for using the seeds (which they very much didn’t want!). But organic is still the safest option.
What do you think? Are you a part of any of the numerous groups protesting the bill?