While genetically modified foods are continually being banned in other countries, the US is slow to follow the very necessary trend. The USDA has chosen to step back and give Monsanto even more power over GMO seeds, and now some states are taking similar action. A bill which could be passed in Lansing, Michigan could make Michigan the 15th state to allow for the expansion of GMO seed use, causing Michigan farms to be plagued with disease-riddled, genetically modified crops.
Calling for the Expansion of GMO Seeds
In order to pave way for the expansion of GMO seeds in Michigan, a slight modification must be made to Sen. Bill 777, which has been in the Senate Agriculture, Forestry and Tourism Committee since Septrember 2005. The change seeks to prevent anti-GMO laws, giving biotech corporations even more room to wreak havoc on the environment and humankind alike. The new bill seeks to remove the following:
“Any authority local governments may have to adopt and enforce ordinances that prohibit or regulate the labeling, sale, storage, transportation, distribution, use, or planting of agricultural, vegetable, flower or forest tree seeds.”
It is interesting to see how some areas encourage the expansion of GMO crops while others, such as Colorado’s Boulder County, recognize the dangers and choose to heed the warnings. Jeff Cobb, legislative aid to GOP Sen. Gerald Van Woekom, the sponsor of the legislation, says that his boss feels local governments don’t have the scientific capacity to determine the safety of GM seeds. The Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency, and the United States Department of Agriculture are the three government entities which have the power to regulate GMO seeds, and Cobb, along with others, feels that local government should not play a role
The USDA and FDA are Failing to ‘Protect the People’
But if there is any hope for the massive decline of GMO crops, these government entities should be the last to have the power and control. Just recently, the USDA decided to deregulate two of Monsanto’s genetically modified seed varieties, giving the company a further grasp on the food supply of the nation. This is also the same organization that has continually pushed for the approval of genetically modified salmon, which was rejected by Congress due to health concerns. The USDA is so dedicated, in fact, that they decided to help forward the approval of genetically modified salmon by generously funding the cause with nearly $500,000. Not only that, but the organization also illegally approved Monsanto’s GMO sugarbeets, which were to be destroyed some time after.
The FDA is another government entity which doesn’t seem to be doing a great job at protecting the people. The FDA is seeking to outlaw the majority of supplements created after 1994 until they have been heavily proven to be 100% effective and free of any slight side effects, meanwhile the organization allows for harmful genetically modified ingredients to fill the world’s food supply. In another vein, despite seafood showing extremely high levels of contamination, the FDA decided that the food was still safe for consumption.