March 20, 2016 by: Julie Wilson
(NaturalNews) Monsanto may hold a near-monopoly on the world’s seed supply, but it cannot control the minds, hearts and voices of those who support and demand clean, healthy and non-toxic food. Advocates have increasingly consolidated to create a powerful health food movement that’s gained so much momentum it is now deemed unstoppable.
This doesn’t bode well for seed companies dependent on crops laced with foreign DNA and coupled with noxious herbicides. Thanks to the tireless work of food and health activists, bloggers and the indie media, the public is no longer in the dark about the health and environmental dangers of GMOs – and there is no reversing that opinion.
Americans have shown overwhelming support for GMO-labeling, a position reflected in the U.S. Senate yesterday after it blocked a controversial, anti-consumer bill that would have preempted states’ rights to pass GMO-labeling laws, as well as reverse existing legislation, such as that in Vermont, which is set to go into effect July 1, 2016.
Senate ignores push to ban GMO-labeling
In order to pass, the DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) needed 60 votes in the Senate. But it fell short, receiving only 49 “yes” votes and 48 “no” votes. Food and Water Watch says that all of the senators they pressured to vote against the DARK Act came through on Wednesday, including the following:
- Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
- Michael Bennet (D-CO)
- Sherrod Brown (D-OH)
- Robert P. Casey Jr. (D-PA)
- Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
- Dick Durbin (D-IL)
- Susan Collins (R-ME)
- Tim Kaine (D-VA)
The legislation was essentially Monsanto’s dream bill, as it would have put a permanent end to the expensive battles fought by them and other seed giants, as well as Big Food, in several U.S. states trying to pass labeling laws.
More than 70 GMO-labeling bills have been proposed in 30 states thus far, with three states passing the legislation, including Maine, Connecticut and Vermont. New Hampshire is on the verge of passing similar legislation, and is set to vote on the measure before the month’s end.
Trouble in paradise
The agrichemical industry is facing yet another blow to its empire, with the introduction of a national, uniform GMO-labeling law, that if passed, could lead to the creation of a national symbol that would clearly disclose the presence of genetically modified ingredients.
Proposed by Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the bill is called the Biotech Food Labeling Uniformity Act or S. 2621.
“This is what real disclosure looks like. This bill finds a way to set a national standard and avoid a patchwork of state labeling laws while still giving consumers the information they want and deserve about what’s in their food,” said Jean Halloran, director of food policy initiatives for Consumers Union.
Monsanto is also facing trouble abroad. This week, India’s prime minister showed Monsanto the door amid complaints over its inflated prices on GM cotton. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Monsanto will lose its 90 percent dominance of the Indian market unless it agrees to reduce its seed prices.
“India cut the royalties paid by local firms for Monsanto’s seeds by nearly 70 percent, also capping GM cotton seed prices at 800 rupees ($11.9) for a packet of 400 grams, starting in April 2017,” according to the Russian Times. “Last year the seeds were sold at prices ranging from 830 rupees ($12.4) to 1,100 rupees ($16.4) in different parts of the country.”
“It’s now upon Monsanto to decide whether they want to accept this rate or not,” said Sanjeev Kumar Balyan, the junior agriculture minister. “If they don’t find it feasible, then they are free to take a call. The greed (of charging) a premium has to end. …
“We’re not scared if Monsanto leaves the country, because our team of scientists are working to develop (an) indigenous variety of (GM) seeds,” he added.