Friday, March 29, 2013

Organic Food Lovers Not Loving Obama


Organic foods fans are disappointed with President Obama after he signed the 2013 Agricultural Appropriations Bill, which included the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" provision, on Tuesday.

Photo courtesy of Michelle McGuinness of MSN news
The provision can be found in Section 735 of H.R. 933 and allows for the suspension of any litigation against companies that genetically engineer food.  Monsanto, the largest and most famous of these companies, has been attacked in the past for creating Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) that include similar compounds that are in pesticide so that crops will not be lost to insects.

The United States Department of Agriculture has already acknowledged that herbicide-resistant weeds are generated by GMO crops.  The USDA is the federal government entity that oversees farming techniques.

Originally speaking out against GMOs back in 2007, then Senator Obama remarked that as president he would strive to "let folks know when their food is genetically modified, because Americans have a right to know what they are buying."

"This is about our food.  I'm officially done with President Obama," said Austin-based photographer Loki Wolf.  "He's already been doing things that were anti-environment and now this.  Tired of the promises being broken.

Rebecca Fost, an artist living in Austin and an avid vegan, was more direct about her feelings on this issue.  "I'm so angry about this!  I need a wall to punch."

S.T. Shimi, artistic director for the Jump Start Performance Theater in San Antonio, gave a more tepid response to the President's action.  "The Monsanto rider was tacked on to a spending bill.  It's ugly but that's how the game is played in Congress on both sides."

Photo courtesy of Brendan Smialowsky
A grass-roots campaign that calls for the labeling of GMOs has been growing for a number of years.  It appears that with the apparent distrust of the President now on this issue, the political pressure may continue with greater force.

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