Late Friday evening, we electronically delivered more than 100,000 comments from Food Democracy Now! members in all 50 states to the White House calling for President Obama to veto the Monsanto Protection Act. Americans are outraged that once again Congress has allowed Monsanto lobbyists to undermine our most basic and fundamental rights in another shady backroom deal. Right now, H.R. 933 - with its poison biotech pill - is sitting on President Obama’s desk waiting for him to sign it.
When he first ran for president, Barack Obama promised to clean up Washington’s culture of corruption, pledging to put an end to the revolving door and backroom deals with lobbyists. Sure, we know that hasn’t happened yet, but with your help it could.
Now is President Obama’s chance to make true on that promise. Either he is for the American people and our democratic rights or he supports Monsanto and corporate lobbyists undermining our basic rights. We already know that Congress has abandoned us. The choice is clear: President Obama can veto H.R. 933 or he can side with Monsanto.
People say this is a fight we cannot win. That's because Section 735, the Monsanto Protection Act, is a small provision stuck into a 841-page appropriations bill for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, so the President has to sign it.
We disagree. As a Constitutional law scholar, President Obama understands better than anyone the threat the Monsanto Protection Act poses to our Constitution and our democracy. Unfortunately, Obama does not have the option of a line-item veto, and the only recourse is for him to veto the entire bill.
We understand the odds. But we know the odds if we don't stand up. This is a corporate coup d'etat and Monsanto and everyone else in Washington DC wants you to be quiet.
But we can’t afford to. There’s too much at stake to sit silent. Some say it will only last six months and expire in September. We think that’s much too long. Here at Food Democracy Now! we’re not willing to surrender our democratic rights for even one second. As long as these bastards work to undermine our rights we will fight them. And with your help, we’re just getting started.
What’s at stake:
By sneaking Section 735 into a federal appropriations bill, Monsanto has successfully planted a dangerous provision into U.S. law that strips judges of their constitutional mandate to protect American’s health and the environment, while opening up the floodgates for the planting of new, untested genetically engineered crops. Even if their new GMO crops are ultimately proven to be harmful to human health or the environment, Section 735 allows them to be planted the minute the USDA approves them.
Even more alarming, 13 new crops are awaiting approval at the USDA and AquaBounty’s GMO salmon is on the verge of being approved by the FDA. This new provision opens the door for these approvals.
The floodgates would be open for Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical’s new GMO crops, which are resistant to the toxic chemicals - including 2,4-D, Agent Orange and dicamba - that will replace failing Roundup Ready GMO crops.
According to legal experts, this provision would create a precedent-setting limitation on judicial review and is a dangerous assault on fundamental federal and judicial safeguards needed to protect America’s farmers, citizens and the environment from the wanton approval of Monsanto's new GMO crops.