United States President Barack Obama has signed a bill into law that was written in part by the very billion-dollar corporation that will benefit directly from the legislation.

On Tuesday, Pres. Obama inked his name to H.R. 933, a continuing resolution spending bill approved in Congress days earlier. Buried 78 pages within the bill exists a provision that grossly protects biotech corporations such as the Missouri-based Monsanto Company from litigation.

With the president’s signature, agriculture giants that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically engineered (GE) seeds are given the go-ahead to continue to plant and sell man-made crops, even as questions remain largely unanswered about the health risks these types of products pose to consumers.

In light of approval from the House and Senate, more than 250,000 people signed a petition asking the president to veto the spending bill over the biotech rider tacked on, an item that has since been widely referred to as the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

“But Obama ignored [the petition],”IB Times’ Connor Sheets writes, “instead choosing to sign a bill that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.”

James Brumley, a reporter for Investor Place, explains a little more thoroughly just how dangerous the rider is now that biotech companies are allowed to bypass judicial scrutiny. Up until it was signed, he writes, “the USDA [US Department of Agriculture] oversaw and approved (or denied) the testing of genetically modified seeds, while the federal courts retained the authority to halt the testing or sale of these plants if it felt that public health was being jeopardized. With HR 933 now a law, however, the court system no longer has the right to step in and protect the consumer.”

If the president’s signature isn’t all that surprising, though, consider the genesis of the bill itself. According to an article published Monday in the New York Daily News, US Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Missouri) “worked with Monsanto to craft the language in the bill.”

Sen. Blunt defended his bill to the News, shrugging off suggestions that it set a startling precedent that will affect all US agriculture by firing back, “What it says is if you plant a crop that is legal to plant when you plant it, you get to harvest it. But it is only a one-year protection in that bill.”

One year could be all it takes to cause catastrophic damage to the environment by allowing laboratory-produced organisms to be planted into the earth without oversight. Under the Monsanto Protection Act, health concerns that arise in the immediate future involving the planting of GMO crops won’t be able to be heard by a judge. Blunt, a junior senator that has held elected office since the late ‘90s, has good reason to whitewash the very bill he helped craft. The Center for Responsive Politics notes that Sen. Blunt received $64,250 from Monsanto to go towards his campaign committee between 2008 and 2012. The Money Monocle website adds that Blunt has been the largest Republican Party recipient of Monsanto funding as of late.

On the lawmaker’s official website, a statement explains a little more as to why he favored HR 933 and the rider within it.

“As the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, Senator Blunt played a vital role in writing the fiscal year 2013 Agriculture Appropriations bill. This legislation maintained vital support for research and extension at land grant universities, capacity building grants for non-land grant colleges of agriculture, and competitive funding under the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). The bill also included funding for conservation activities, housing and business loan programs for rural communities, domestic and international nutrition programs.”

Nowhere does the senator’s site mention the Monsanto Protection Act by name, although it claims Blunt “supports continued investments in agricultural research and engineering.”

“Did Blunt not realize that Monsanto would stand to gain significantly if section 735 survived and HR 933 was signed into law?” asks Brumley. “Not likely,”

“There’s no way of getting around the fact this is an abusive conflict of interest,” he says.

Clearly isn’t Brumley the only one that feels that way either: Blunt’s Wikipedia page was vandalized this week to read in the first paragraph, “His Senate seat was previously held by Republican Kit Bond, until Bond’s retirement, and will be sold by Blunt to Monsanto Corporation upon his retirement.”

SOURCE

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  • Ian Davidson

    This is great. in my opinion GMO and GE is A gift to us from god.. As Co-Creators Of Life.. like any tool or knowledge it can be used for right or wrong.. but i am not against GMO… . it will allow something new to arise from reality.. ((((Greed))))) Will always be the Villian not the technology not the Progress…. but if things go good then we evolve to a new level in existence. stop being afraid of progress.. GMO may be good or bad just like any idea. but if you dont want to be part of it then dont. dont eat it … dont live near it.. but all people have the right to choose what they intake in their bodies.there is no reason why the government shouldn’t make it law that they label it.. be transparent and stop hiding the truth because nothing can contain the truth for long…. not everyone is smart enough to learn about where their food come from. who’s fault is that.. i dont believe in some of the things Monsanto have done and they should be punish for any wrong doing. but the whole GMO thing aint going no where because its technology that the human race needs to evolve.. if used properly… and responsibly just like any other idea or technology.. but what do i know this is just my opinion im not the smartest out there … Russmaican life

    • mojorayjones

      It’s a little more complex than you make it out. We just can’t choose not to eat it because they hide it in the food, by not allowing it to be labeled, and plus the genetics can cross over due to human error. So get with the facts brotha.

    • Shannon Skinner

      you’re like all the fuktards that work for monsanto saying amazing things about them on their sites, facebook and such. Go ahead and eat it all you want. Labeling it for those that want to know what they’re eating is essential and not something that should be hidden. Monsanto is the essence of what the US stands for… make money while making people sick….

  • Philip Schnell

    I’m no fan of Monsanto, but AMTV needs to check its dates. The HR 933 in question was passed in March 2013, not last Tuesday, and expired along with its controversial “Farmer Assurance Provision” (Section 735) in September 2013 without being renewed.

    • Robb Dennis

      Can’t left facts get in the way of narrative…

    • denisebreslin

      OMG, Phillip you are so right. But the fact is Obama still signed it then. Yes expired but not forgotten. I was a Democrat, now a Green, fed up with this snake of a President.

  • Stuart Cracraft
  • Shannon Skinner

    I can’t wait til all these old farts die and does it surprise anyone that he signed to protect the very thing that causes all the health issues and cash cows in the US??

  • Caroline

    This is OLD. You need to be more responsible with reporting.

  • Eric

    Well, how about that! A republican asshole that is NOT from Texas.