Ugh, President Obama Signed a Law That Protects Monsanto

I love Obama. He’s our President. But why is he signing an act that protects big corporations like Monsanto? And why hasn’t the New York Times covered this issue yet? I’m beyond confused.

From Salon:

Slipped into the Agricultural Appropriations Bill, which passed through Congress last week, was a small provision that’s a big deal for Monsanto and its opponents. The provision protects genetically modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks and has thus been dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act” by activists who oppose the biotech giant. President Barack Obama signed the spending bill, including the provision, into law on Tuesday

Since the act’s passing, more than 250,000 people have signed a petition opposing the provision and a rally, consisting largely of farmers organized by the Food Democracy Now network, protested outside the White House Wednesday. Not only has anger been directed at the Monsanto Protection Act’s content, but the way in which the provision was passed through Congress without appropriate review by the Agricultural or Judiciary Committees. The biotech rider instead was introduced anonymously as the larger bill progressed — little wonder food activists are accusing lobbyists and Congress members of backroom dealings.

The Food Democracy Now and the Center for Food are directing blame at the Senate Appropriations Committee and its chairman, Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. According to reports, many members of Congress were apparently unaware that the “Monsanto Protection Act” even existed within the spending bill, HR 933; they voted in order to avert a government shutdown.

“It sets a terrible precedent,” noted the International Business Times. “Though it will only remain in effect for six months until the government finds another way to fund its operations, the message it sends is that corporations can get around consumer safety protections if they get Congress on their side. Furthermore, it sets a precedent that suggests that court challenges are a privilege, not a right.”



  • Dubious Brother

    I do believe that Nancy Pelosi and her husband are Monsanto shareholders and there is a former Monsanto executive that is head of the FDA so this type of thing is no surprise. For a good look at how this administration works, as transparent as they are, look at how Obamacare was shoved through, “we have to pass it before you can read it,” and the unsettling realities that are surfacing now. As we are finding out with Social Security and Medicare, when the bomb goes off, the ones that built it are long gone.

  • Anonymous

    The same President that started the “$500K gets you a private meeting with the POTUS” plan? You’re actually surprised?

    Let me give you some advice — when Obama says it’s not going to happen in your mouth… it will.

  • Chinaski

    Why are you confused by this? Obama has show his true colors over and over again, and this from a person that voted for him the first time around. He’s an embarassment as an American. And why are you surprised that this hasn’t been covered in the media? They are the mouth piece for the government, go to independent news sources like TYT network.

  • Mike

    Spare us the liberal crap, please.

    • Jessica Ireland

      What liberal crap are you referring to?

    • Mad Dog

      Mike, I am a conservative, and trust me, this is beyond politics. Do some homework and read up on Monsanto. This is a company that is actually destroying the food system, and if you can’t see that, enjoy your poison…

  • Jeff Hayden

    I have a little problem with this line: “But why is he signing an act that protects big corporations like Monsanto?”

    You paint big corporations as all evil but there is not a single big corporation that started out as a big corporation. They started as a small company and grew because they were successful. And there is not a single small business out there that doesn’t want to be successful.


    This is offensive! I look to Side Dish for information on dining. I do not look here for slanted political rhetoric and ideology.

  • Mavdog

    Really funny to read all the attacks on Obama (newsflah: Obama did not place the language in the bill, and there is nothing that points to him even knowing about it until the bill was placed on his desk) as well as the incorrect ataement on Nancy Pelosi owniong Monsanto stock (see her financial disclosure

    Yes, instead of focusing on the issue of genetically modified foods, these posters just can’t help themselves from going into full pitbull mode and attack the Dems!

    Myself, I’m not too concerned with Monsanto’s work modifying seeds. After all, for all intent and purposes mankind has been doing it, albeit in a less sophisticated/scientific manner, for centuries. maybe millenia.

    the insertion speaks to how litigious a society we are today more than anything.

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  • Aaron Benson

    I don’t know why attacking specific figures is considered productive. I would be willing to bet that this act would’ve found its way across any president’s desk in our times. Stop being upset about peoples’ political opinions and look at the real problem: our system lets private interests dictate laws, even at our peril!

    • Carol Shih

      I think you hit the nail on the head.

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  • Mavdog

    dubious, you need to either get a better web browser or check out the book “Internet for dummies”, the “Assets” report lists all of Pelosi’s holdings (about 70 of ’em). Monsanto is not listed.

    yes, Michael Taylor was with Monsanto, as well as: Senior advisor to Commissioner, FDA; research professor, School of Public Health and Health Services, The George Washington University; administrator, USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS); staff attorney at FDA; Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future; professor, School of Medicine, University of Maryland; partner, King & Spalding law firm; and vice president for public policy, Monsanto Company. A very strong resume with depth in the food regulatory realm.

    I see no evidence that our President “isn’t fond” of the structure of the Federal Government, and clearly he respects the checks and balances that exist. Are you aware of any proposals that Obama has put forth that seek to change this?

    Congress has a past history of this sort of thing, this isn’t the first and unlikely to be the last. It has been done by Republicans and Democrats both. While I agree that the manner this was placed into the spending bill deserves criticism, direct that criticism where it belongs: Mikusky and Blount.

    Also, let’s focus on what the legislation does. Should Monsanto be taken to court with claims on their product? As for “bullying tactics against small farmers”, that is not what this legislation addresses.

  • JAI

    Why is this an Obama issue? This bill passed through the House and the Senate before it found itself on his desk.

    The real problem is how the system allows things like riders and allows special interest groups to write them. And the sneaky tactics of getting them attached to things like appropriation bills, which are guaranteed to pass. It also forces the hand of the Executive Branch since it’s veto powers are all-or-nothing (he can’t cut off the riders before signing).

    Face it, our system is seriously flawed. It will always be manipulated and controlled by the power special interest groups that have enough money to steer our politicians.

    And since there’s no way for The People to change the way things are done, the best anyone can do is complain about the sitting President in comment sections of blogs. Hey, in a few years, maybe we can complain about a Republican and make everything their fault for a while.

    So keep blaming Bush and Obama and whoever is next. It’s all their fault.

    • Dubious Brother

      To see why this is an Obama issue you should refer back to his campaigns for President where he promised the most transparent administration ever, where bills would be posted on the internet for a week before votes were taken and where the lobbyists that ran Washington before he arrived would be rendered irrelevant. I didn’t believe him but enough people did – things like this open eyes.

  • Ryan Davis

    The provision was added by Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, who actually worked with Monsanto on the language for the bill. 89% of Republican’s voted Yes on this bill (41% of Democrats voted against it). If Obama hadn’t signed this version, it would have expired the federal budget and triggered a government-wide shutdown this week. I’m no fan of Obama, but you can’t blame one man for a broken system.

  • Avid Reader

    Without attacking anyone…here is a phrase from the Post:
    “I love Obama. He’s our President. But why is he signing an act that protects big corporations like Monsanto? And why hasn’t the New York Times covered this issue yet? I’m beyond confused.”

    Seems like you asked a couple questions about the President and why the NYT’s wouldn’t bite the hand that feeds them; people responded in kind.

  • Andrew Plock

    My guns!


    I absolutely agree with you and did not make my point nearly as well as you have. I almost got excited when I thought the site had changed from a Daily Destination for Dallas Foodies to a site where we could discuss the slings and arrows of politics. I almost posted a link to Fox News.

  • Robles Robles

    Obama has betray America he is no longer respected by America. I am so furious about a man that once I deposit my vote, now he deserve to be out of the office once he pretend to be in our side, to obtain our votes, he have been sleep with the kiler