December 11, 2012
I try not to get political on this site because there are thousands of other websites out there that can better argue all sides of a political issue than I can. (And I’ll apologize in advance to non-US readers for this very US-centric article). However, if you haven’ t heard, there is a rider in the 2013 Appropriations Bill (Section 733) that would give companies that make genetically-engineered and genetically-modified foods freedom from existing US laws.
The way the law is currently written it would do the following for companies like Monsanto and others who produce genetically-engineered foods:
- Prevent review of genetically-engineered crops under the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, or other environmental law;
- Prohibit other agencies from offering expertise to the USDA in the review of genetically-engineered crops:
- Set short deadlines for USDA review of genetically-engineered crops and force automatic approvals if deadlines are not met;
- Limit EPA oversight of genetically-engineered crops to only those that contain a pesticide.
I, personally, have two main issues with this:
1. I have a huge issue with genetically-engineered foods for a myriad of reasons. I realize that there are potential benefits to these foods but they still make me uncomfortable and I don’t like the idea that they wouldn’t necessarily be subject to strict oversight.
2. The bigger issue I have with this rider is that I don’t think that any company should be above federal laws. If we the citizens and small businesses are expected to follow the laws that have been set out by Congress then I expect larger companies to be held equally accountable. Yes, I know that there are companies in every industry who get tax breaks/special treatment/etc and I’m just as upset by that. Just because you have money to lobby Congress should not give you the right to, essentially, write your own laws.
If you’d like to voice your concern about this rider you can do so at Just Label It which will help you send an email to your representatives to let them know how you feel. I urge you to stand against Monsanto and companies of its ilk and show them that the power of citizens’ voices is still more powerful than millions of lobbying dollars. I also urge you to share this with others you know who are concerned about safe food for everyone based on laws that apply to everyone.
Thank you – I will step off the soap box now…