potato ex machina

Monsanto Threatens To Sue Entire State Of Vermont Over Food Labeling Bill

mmm

Monsanto, that sickening institution behind Agent Orange and strawberries made out of fish and sugar made out of Axe Body Spray,* has claimed and will probably claim until the end of time that you don’t really need to know that your “all-natural” cereal is actually created in a lab. DON’T YOU LIKE IT? Don’t you feel yourself turning into a Transformer? But the state of Vermont is particularly not thrilled about Monsanto’s coquettish behavior, and is trying to pass H. 722, which would require food labels to tell you whether a product is genetically modified, and would prevent that “all-natural” designation from appearing on the packaging of a GMO food, BECAUSE IT ISN’T. The corporation has so much disgusting dirty cash on hand, however, that it has decided to intimidate the people of Vermont — not a timid bunch, mind you — out of proceeding with the bill. The sad thing? It looks like it’s working. Fish strawberries WILL RISE AGAIN.

Alternet writes that Vermont lawmakers are actually “dragging their feet” over the bill because Monsanto is proving, once again, to be a bunch of bullies with enough money to put multiple entire law firms on its cases. One theory is that Vermont will have to “go it alone” in court if it passes the bill, because it will make the state the first in the nation with such a law. Instead of seeing this as HEROIC, certain lawmakers appear to be having second thoughts and are holding public hearings over the bill in what appears to be an effort to stall all the way until the end of the current legislative session in May. In other words, some Monsanto employee has handed over stacks of cash to some influential Vermonters, and it appears to be hushing them up nicely?

Perhaps if California passes its similar Right to Know Act, which is currently in the process of gathering signatures for the November ballot, Vermont would have the courage to be second in the nation? But the website of the bill, Vermont Right to Know GMOs, points out:

50 countries including the European Union, Japan and China already label genetically engineered foods. Vermont should be the leader on this important issue here in the United States.

Also, do not wait for California to do things! You may be waiting a long time, e.g. until the Second Coming of the Dinosaurs!

Because of our peerless legal system, if the bill goes forward, Monsanto will likely succeed in suing the entire state of Vermont and thus exercising its Right to Not Tell, just like it did with the rBGH milk fiasco, in which Monsanto’s lawyers were enticed by wads into arguing that milk producers should not have to declare whether their products contained that particular bovine growth hormone or not (AND WON).

Now, to what degree does this matter? Let this pretty chart from the USDA itself explain:

delicious

[Alternet via Daily Kos]

*unverified

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About the author

Liz is a writer. She has written for this site, evidently, and also The Awl, The San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, The Economist and others. She is the author of a short story collection, Cover Story.

View all articles by Liz Colville

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81 comments

  1. fartknocker

    In comparison to Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, the Carolinas, Montana and Florida, we never hear anything about bat-shit wierdness from Vermont. I think I'll listen to what they say – they seem to have things under control in that state.

  2. CivicHoliday

    It doesn't help matters that the FDA and USDA are both filled to the brim with former Monsanto and Cargill employees/lobbyists, and that the supreme court is about as likely to uphold a food label law as they are to issue a formal apology for Bush v. Gore. I'm sure there is bribery going on with VT legislatures but there is also a growing understanding of the futility of this issue.

  3. sullivanst

    RWers jumping up and down demanding tort reform in 3.. 2..

    Oh wait. SLAPPs by corporate behemoths are different, aren't they.

  4. Ducksworthy

    Monsanto took the right turn with bioengineering from the very beginning. They realized that they could make a lot of money, not by making plants disease and bug resistant, which would have been a reasonable (i.e. human) approach. But Monsanto decided to make plants that were herbicide resistant.
    this allowed them to sell millions of tons more toxic herbicide.

  5. Baconzgood

    I hate fucking GMOs sooo god damn much with their mascara and fucking wanna be Criss Angel vampire clothes that you can buy off the rack at Hot Topic in any mall in America. YOU FUCKS ARE NOT ORIGINAL. They used to be called "Goths" and you know what? THEY FUCKING SUCKED COCK TOO! God I hate GMOs!

  6. Goonemeritus

    If Monsanto keeps disrespecting Vermont, Vermont is going to send Ben and Jerry down to their corporate offices to squeeze a few faces.

  7. OneYieldRegular

    This crap is illegal in France (private note to Vermont: if you need help, get in touch with French activist José Bové).

  8. Callyson

    if California passes its similar Right to Know Act, which is currently in the process of gathering signatures for the November ballot

    I just signed the petition the other day, though I know we will be deluged with attack ads if this gets on the ballot. Cue hysteria about "food prices will go up/jobs will be lost/the world will starve" in 3…2…1…

  9. teebob2000

    Via Daily Kos(ommunist)??? Librul trouble-makers!!! Move along, nothing to see here, folks! We legislators know what's best for the fine people of the great state of Vermont!

    *crawling on floor grabbing handfuls of cash thrown up in the air by the bucketload by insanely-cackling Monsanto lobbyists*

  10. SorosBot

    We should be thanking Mosanto for keeping America fat and lazy on hydrogenated corn sugar.

  11. V572 Fehrnstrom

    There used to be a town on the Illinois side of the Mississippi from St Louis (Monsanto HQ) called "Monsanto." Then somebody did some soil testing and whoa! New town name stat!

    And they used to dump PCBs in the water at a plant in Anniston AL until WaPo caught 'em* at it about ten years ago—long after everyone knew this was dangerous and illegal.

    And when the Monsanto chairman's palatial suburban McMansion was donated to St Louis County, it wound up as The Dog Museum, where one may view works of art whose subject matter is Man's Best Friend. And yes, they have the poker-playing pooches prominently displayed.

    Think it's a joke? http://www.museumofthedog.org/ And you can bring your dawg!
    ____________________
    *Hey, remember when WaPo used to do cool shit like that, instead of selling test prep courses and pimping their decision-maker access to businesses?

      1. V572 Fehrnstrom

        Well there was that “Watergate” unpleasantness some years back. And the Pentagon Papers. I am a bona fide Old.

  12. CapnFatback

    Both me and my second, smaller, mutated head agree: genetically modified foods are ooooh-kay.

    1. JustPixelz

      Most guys have a nickname for their penis, but "second smaller mutated head" is kinda self-deprecating, dontcha think? How about "giant love sausage"? Or "Earl"?

  13. V572 Fehrnstrom

    Fourteen fortnights and seven days ago, my big-handed grandfather brought forth upon this continent a new tribe of fast breeding Catholics…..

  14. James Michael Curley

    A couple passes over the state with Agent Orange and Vermont will be know as "The Great Northeastern Desert."

  15. BaldarTFlagass

    I hope Monsanto wins. I want my food from a nice clean laboratory, not from some damn field where cows and horses and sheep shit all day. That stuff might have dirt on it, too.

  16. Oblios_Cap

    If Monsanto can successfully sue African farmers because their genetically altered plants' pollen fertilized their unaltered crops, Vermonters are in for a world of hurt if they try to pass this bill.

  17. anniegetyerfun

    God, Liz, it's almost like you think people have a RIGHT to know what they are eating.

  18. Oblios_Cap

    If this goes all the way to the Supremes, Monsanto always has ex-employee Clarence Thomas to vote their way.

  19. Dumbedup

    Yeah, so, from the front lines here in VT: it's not that legislators are being bribed, it's that we have lost two massive suits to corporations in the last year; drug companies beat some law attempting to regulate them, and Vermont had to pay 4.6 million in costs. Then we lost to Entergy Nuclear when the legislature tried to shut their aging and decrepit nuclear plant down. The bill for that is not in yet, but will be a lot. So it's no wonder we are gunshy at this point, big corporations have been killing us in court when we pass the laws we want to live under. Even the "Eat More Kale" guy has been threatened with a lawsuit. Sheesh!

    1. JustPixelz

      I used to live in VT. My main worry was that New Hampshire would attack. "Live Free and Die … horribly under our libertarian boot". Not a very friendly state motto.

    2. mormos

      Vermont LOST the entergy case! Fuck me sideways! Time to check out, by which i mean grab my shit and run like hell cause i aint paying the bill.

  20. Dashboard Buddha

    Can't we just stop with this death by 1000 cuts and just cut to the chase. Monsanto gets to declare victory and we'll be able to get Soylent Green patties in our grocer's freezer case.

    1. comrad_darkness

      I tried to have a serious conversation the other day where I was arguing that cannibalism is essential to avoiding the wicked undershoot of a population crash, similar to how the Polynesians managed for centuries. No one wanted to engage on this. Maybe because all my friends are fat and delicious looking?

  21. larrykat

    Most of Monsanto's genetic engineering revolves around them modifying crop seeds to not react to their own herbicide, commonly known as Roundup. So they have a Roundup to spray on the crop as it is growing, to control weeds, and THEN, the farmer can use a different Roundup to spray on that actually does kill the crop when they want to hurry up the harvest it! They get it coming and going, plus sell the seeds! And they go around suing individual farmers who try and keep some of their crop seeds (that they grew themselves) to plant next year so they don't have to buy more seeds from Monsanto! And of course the seeds are identifiable genetically so the chain of evidence is right there to prove it. Awesome.

  22. Designer_Rants

    Monsanto created ManBearPig out of DNA gleaned from dining utensils stolen from the homes of the following individuals*:
    1.) Al Gore
    2.) Tom Selleck
    3.) Rush Limbaugh

    *unverified

  23. mormos

    You mean the company that sues farmers into using their product against the farmers will is doing something shady? I am shocked!

  24. starfanglednut

    They have made a lot of money suing farmers because their GM seeds blew onto their property. It utterly boggles the mind. They are one of the most evil corporations, (oops I mean people, silly me) that exists, which is saying quite a lot.

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