FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Monsanto Hates Democracy

by ALEXIS BADEN-MAYER

Monsanto hates democracy because democracy doesn’t work for Monsanto.

Nine out of 10 of us want to know where Monsanto’s been hiding the GMOs in our food and a most of us wouldn’t eat those GMOs if we knew where they were.

If everything in this country were decided democratically, most of the food we eat would be non-GMO and Monsanto would be driven out of business.

We don’t have a problem convincing people we’re right, we have a problem with our democracy when we can’t get the politicians to pass the laws that the majority of us want.

But no government, no matter how corrupted by corporate money, will be able to stop us when we get the nine out of 10 people who agree with us to take action with us. And that’s what’s starting to happen.

Monsanto knows that democracy doesn’t work for them, so they’re not taking any chances with it. They’ll fight us at the local and state level when they have to, but when they get a chance, they’re going to take us to a place far way from the voters where it’s hard to hear their voices and where money talks very loudly: Congress.

This is what they did when the Center for Food Safety’s lawsuits started having an effect. Monsanto got their main man in Congress, Sen. Roy Blunt, to slip the Monsanto Protection Act  into a spending bill that Congress had to pass to avoid a government shut-down. It was stuck in the bill at the last minute and it didn’t get a vote, but it became law.

We’re seeing the same thing now with the King Amendment . Rep. Steve King from Iowa got the House to include an amendment to the Farm Bill that says no state can put any condition on the manufacture or production of any agricultural product in interstate commerce. The debate on the King Amendment in Congress has focused on Prop 2, a ballot initiative passed by the voters of California that says farm animals should have enough room to spread their limbs and turn around, that’s why we’re calling it the Animal Cruelty Protection Act, but I was told by Hill staffers that Rep. King actually came up with this idea because of state laws regulating ethanol. The law is so broadly written that it could apply to anything, animal welfare laws, ethanol regulations, and certainly the laws we’re passing to regulate GMOs.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association also hates democracy. They’re working with Monsanto to fight Washington State’s ballot initiative to label GMOs, I-522, but we know from news reports that they’re also in DC, trying to take care of the democracy problem they’re having, with states starting to pass laws to label GMOs. They probably like what they see in the King Amendment, but the Farm Bill might not pass, so they’re working behind the scenes now to see what can be done in September when Congress is back scrambling to avoid a government shut-down again before their current spending bill expires on September 30.

What’s amazing is that Congress, as corrupted as it is by corporate money, is way too democratic for Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. They’ll fight us in Congress when the have to, but they’d rather be somewhere we can’t get to, where voters are obsolete, where the corporations have full and exclusive access, where everything is kept secret from the public: international trade negotiations.

The Obama Administration is currently negotiating two huge new trade deals, one with Europe  and one with countries around the Pacific , including Japan and Peru. The US position is that bans on GMOs, but also pre-market safety testing and labels, are barriers to trade. The person who’s negotiating this for Obama is Islam Siddiqui  who used to be the Vice President and Chief Lobbyist for CropLife America — that’s Monsanto, Dupont, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer and BASF, that’s the group that sent a letter of protest  to Michelle Obama when she planted her pesticide-free and GMO-free organic garden. Siddiqui is a political operator. He got is job with Obama by fundraising  for Obama. Before working as a lobbyist for Monsanto and the rest, he worked for Clinton trying to get GMOs, sewage sludge and irradiation into organic.

Our movement stopped Siddiqui then and we can stop Siddiqui now! We can stop the Monsanto Protection Act and the Animal Cruelty Protection Act! We can stop Congress’s attempts to take away states’ rights to regulate food and farming! We can stop Sen. Roy Blunt, Rep. Steve King, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Syngenta, Bayer and BASF! We can do it by getting the 9 out of 10 people who agree with us to take action with us and by moving the fight away from Congress and international trade deals where corporate money is louder than the voters and get back to the state and local level where democracy can work for us. GMO Free San Juan  made democracy work last year. We’re going to see democracy work here in Washington in November when we pass I-522! We’re going see democracy work in Oregon when GMO Free Jackson County passes its ballot initiative in May 2014!

Alexis Baden-Mayer, political director of the Organic Consumers Association, Speech delivered on Aug. 2, 2013 at the  at the Justice Begins with Seeds Conference in Seattle, Wash.

 
More articles by:
January 17, 2018
Seiji Yamada
Prevention is the Only Solution: a Hiroshima Native’s View of Nuclear Weapons
Chris Welzenbach
Force of Evil: Abraham Polonsky and Anti-Capitalist Noir
Thomas Klikauer
The Business of Bullshit
Howard Lisnoff
The Atomized and Siloed U.S. Left
Martha Rosenberg
How Big Pharma Infiltrated the Boston Museum of Science
George Wuerthner
The Collaboration Trap
David Swanson
Removing Trump Will Require New Activists
Michael McKinley
Australia and the Wars of the Alliance: United States Strategy
Binoy Kampmark
Macron in China
Cesar Chelala
The Distractor-in-Chief
Ted Rall
Why Trump is Right About Newspaper Libel Laws
Mary Serumaga
Corruption in Uganda: Minister Sam Kutesa and Company May Yet Survive Their Latest Scandal
January 16, 2018
Mark Schuller
What is a “Shithole Country” and Why is Trump So Obsessed With Haiti?
Paul Street
Notes From a “Shithole” Superpower
Louisa Willcox
Keeper of the Flame for Wilderness: Stewart “Brandy” Brandborg
Mike Whitney
Trump’s Sinister Plan to Kill the Iranian “Nukes” Deal
Franklin Lamb
Kafkaesque Impediments to Challenging Iran’s Theocracy
Norman Solomon
Why Senator Cardin is a Fitting Opponent for Chelsea Manning
Fred Gardner
GI Coffeehouses Recalled: a Compliment From General Westmoreland
Brian Terrell
Solidarity from Central Cellblock to Guantanamo
Don Fitz
Bondage Scandal: Looking Beneath the Surface
Rob Seimetz
#Resist Co-opting “Shithole”
Ted Rall
Trump Isn’t Unique
January 15, 2018
Rob Urie
Democrats and the End(s) of Politics
Paul Tritschler
Killing Floor: the Business of Animal Slaughter
Mike Garrity
In Targeting the Lynx, the Trump Administration Defies Facts, Law, and Science Once Again
Thomas Hon Wing Polin
Hong Kong Politics: a Never-Ending Farce
Uri Avnery
Bibi’s Son (Or Three Men in a Car)
Dave Lindorff
Yesterday’s ‘Shithole Countries’ Can Become Classy Places Donald, and Vice Versa
Jeff Mackler
Lesser Evil Politics in Alabama
Jonah Raskin
Typewriters Still Smoking? An Interview with Underground Press Maven John Campbell McMillan
Jose-Antonio Orosco
Trump’s Comments Recall a Racist Past in Immigration Policy
David Macaray
Everything Seems to Be Going South
Kathy Kelly
41 Hearts Beating in Guantanamo
Weekend Edition
January 12, 2018
Friday - Sunday
George Burchett
Wormwood and a Shocking Secret of War: How Errol Morris Vindicated My Father, Wilfred Burchett
Roberto J. González
Starting Them Young: Is Facebook Hooking Children on Social Media?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Between the Null and the Void
Andrew Levine
Trump After Bannon: What Next?
John Davis
Mud-Slide
Ajamu Baraka
The Responsibility to Protect the World … from the United States
Robert Hunziker
Global Warming Stirs the Methane Monster
Paul Street
Lazy Liberals and “the Trump Effect”
Carmen Rodriguez
Trump’s Attack on Salvadoran Migrants
Mike Whitney
Oprah for President, Really?
Francisco Cabanillas
The Hurricane After Maria
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail