Connor Adams Sheets reports that President Barack Obama just signed a spending bill, HR 933, that includes language that has food and consumer advocates and organic farmers up in arms over their contention that the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" is a giveaway to corporations that was passed under the cover of darkness. The "Monsanto Protection Act" effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future. Many anti-GMO folks argue there have not been enough studies into the potential health risks of this new class of crop. Well, now it appears that even if those studies are completed and they end up revealing severe adverse health effects related to the consumption of genetically modified foods, the courts will have no ability to stop the spread of the seeds and the crops they bear. Many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the "Monsanto Protection Act" even existed within the bill they were voting on. “In this hidden backroom deal, Sen. [Barbara] Mikulski turned her back on consumer, environmental and farmer protection in favor of corporate welfare for biotech companies such as Monsanto,” says Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. The bill sets a terrible precedent suggesting that court challenges are a privilege, not a right says attorney Bill Marler who has represented victims of foodborne illness in successful lawsuits against corporations. “I think any time you tweak with the ability of the public to seek redress from the courts, you create a huge risk."
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