It’s spring; plants are giving wing to their seeds, love birds are in the air, people are tilling their gardens and sowing their crops. You might be sneezing more than usual, sniffing and snuffing and smelling allergy season in the air. The spreading of seeds, pollen or any of nature’s genes is one of the utmost organic processes our world witnesses… right?
Just as sneaky as the wind itself and just as slick as the cape of water that douses the land was Obama’s passing of bill HR 933 into law on March 26, 2013. Recently gaining public attention is the story of the “Monsanto Protection Act” which is a name given by opponents of the Farmer Assurance Provision. The law has riled up organic farmers, consumer advocates, and many random Facebookers who consider the act a highway ride down the Genetically Modified Organism, GMO, and Genetically Engineered, GE, tunnel of darkness. And on their course down this probably turbulent road GMO corporate hounds such as the leading Monsanto Company are understood by the general public as virtually immune to any “tickets” they might deserve along the way.
Within HR 933, the Continuing Resolution that will fund the government until the end of the fiscal year, a liability waiver of such was “snuck” into the budget section. This section, Section 735, is referred to as the “biotech rider”. This provision is claimed to allow biotech lobbyists insurance for their GMO crops, giving them safeguard against any serious scientific or regulatory review.
But for a moment, we can disregard this newly paved law and take a break to huff aerosol pesticide fumes from the farm nearby and drool on tomatoes that have been probed with genes from other organisms so that they remain fresh longer on-shelf. Or you can not do that, but during this moment we’ll make sure to think about the fact that GMO and GE seeds, pollen, spores, whatever other means of reproduction, are not limited to fructify with other modified crops. They’re out there for the taking; they’re quite literally on the market. They’re also hiding behind hay stacks and spreading their funky coding to what could have been organic, heirloom products.
Not only are companies like Monsanto gaining an exaggerated free rein over the food industry, but their products: living, breeding, things are deliberately or not bastardizing unsuspecting crops. This is a small world, after all, and the wind doesn’t only blow straight down on Monsanto’s experiments. It carries byproducts with it and plops them wherever randomness pleases. According to my understanding of the introduction of HR 933, its implementations are meant to dissociate on Sept. 30, 2013, the end of the fiscal year.
It could be a long ride.