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Thu Apr 5, 2012, 09:55 AM

Monsanto Threatens to Sue Vermont if Legislators Pass a Bill Requiring GMO Food to Be Labeled

Source: AlterNet

The world’s most hated corporation is at it again, this time in Vermont.

Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.

The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote.

Instead, they’re calling for more public hearings on April 12, in the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May.

Read more: http://www.alternet.org/story/154855/monsanto_threatens_to_sue_vermont_if_legislators_pass_a_bill_requiring_gmo_food_to_be_labeled?akid=8530.226594.9A43ZT&rd=1&t=21

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Reply Monsanto Threatens to Sue Vermont if Legislators Pass a Bill Requiring GMO Food to Be Labeled (Original post)
IDemo Apr 2012 OP
KansDem Apr 2012 #1
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #4
rhett o rick Apr 2012 #8
cyberpj Apr 2012 #10
Mopar151 Apr 2012 #12
crunch60 Apr 2012 #27
Dont call me Shirley Apr 2012 #34
Marrah_G Apr 2012 #2
Pachamama Apr 2012 #7
glinda Apr 2012 #11
randome Apr 2012 #21
sulphurdunn Apr 2012 #3
Moostache Apr 2012 #5
enough Apr 2012 #6
Rosa Luxemburg Apr 2012 #9
marmar Apr 2012 #13
Mopar151 Apr 2012 #14
Voice for Peace Apr 2012 #25
abelenkpe Apr 2012 #15
saras Apr 2012 #35
anti-alec Apr 2012 #16
lonestarnot Apr 2012 #17
stockholmer Apr 2012 #28
wcollar Apr 2012 #18
lovuian Apr 2012 #24
IDemo Apr 2012 #39
a2liberal Apr 2012 #19
cyberpj Apr 2012 #20
Smilo Apr 2012 #22
lovuian Apr 2012 #23
Mz Pip Apr 2012 #30
wordpix Apr 2012 #26
Trillo Apr 2012 #29
truedelphi Apr 2012 #37
countryjake Apr 2012 #31
gtar100 Apr 2012 #32
midnight Apr 2012 #33
Sarah Ibarruri Apr 2012 #36
CanonRay Apr 2012 #38
harun Apr 2012 #40
cali Apr 2012 #41

Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:10 AM

1. On what grounds?

Monsanto has used lawsuits or threats of lawsuits for 20 years to force unlabeled genetically engineered foods on the public, and to intimidate farmers into buying their genetically engineered seeds and hormones. When Vermont became the first state in the nation in 1994 to require mandatory labels on milk and dairy products derived from cows injected with the controversial genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone, Monsanto’s minions sued in Federal Court and won on a judge’s decision that dairy corporations have the first amendment “right” to remain silent on whether or not they are injecting their cows with rBGH - even though rBGH has been linked to severe health damage in cows and increased cancer risk for humans, and is banned in much of the industrialized world, including Europe and Canada.

They have a "right to remain silent" regarding what they're putting in the food we eat?

Reminds me of this story from 2003:

Monsanto v. Oakhurst Dairy
Does Monsanto Corporation Have the Right to Keep You from Knowing the Contents of Your Food?

excerpt

Some farmers say that Posilac, also known as recombinant bovine somatotropin, only adds to an already glutted milk supply, which drives down the price paid to farmers. But Monsanto says the drug can get farmers out of a slump by helping them produce more milk.

"Producing more milk efficiently allows dairy farmers to make more money," said Jennifer Garrett, technical services director for Monsanto's dairy business. "The farms with the highest-producing cows are those that are making the most money. Posilac is a product that allows them to do that."

Many dairy farmers say, however, that not using the hormone is one way they can get a competitive edge. Some milk distributors pay a premium for milk from cows not treated with rBST. Plus, even though studies show rBST is safe for humans, increasing numbers of consumers are drawn to "all-natural" products.

Farmers who don't use rBST want to advertise that fact on their product labels. But Monsanto officials say labels like "No rBSTv" or "rBST-free" are misleading, unfair and deceptive. The company has recently sued one dairy for its labels.

Oakhurst Dairy in Maine labels its milk: "Our farmer's pledge: no artificial hormones." Monsanto's lawsuit says the label implies Oakhurst's milk is somehow better than milk from cows treated with rBST, and that unfairly harms Monsanto's business.


http://www.reclaimdemocracy.org/corporate_speech/monsanto_oakhurst_wired.html


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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:18 AM

4. Sorry Monsanto, I've switched to organic milk

I spend the same, we just use less of it. I've convinced a half dozen other families to do the same over the last year.

People need to SEE what they are eating and they need to regain the skill of cooking and preserving foods. This is the best way to be able to afford to buy more of your food locally, even on a tight budget.

One thing that is really lacking is local cooking classes (non gourmet, not costing a fortune type). We have a generation that has largely lost these skills.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:37 AM

8. IMO we are getting ever closer to the dictatorship of the oligarchs

It appears to me that the oligarch corporations are getting more and more bold in oppressing our rights.

Some day soon we will have to draw the line.

Spring is Coming.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:46 AM

10. Wouln't a 'right to remain silent' already indicate the 'right to NOT remain silent'?

Freedom of speech anyone?

BTW - Didn't there used to be a Truth In Advertising something-or-other?

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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:55 AM

12. Oakhurst milk tastes better!

And there are reasons besides rBST.

From http://www.usda.gov/oig/webdocs/oig17.98.htm

May 11, 1998--U.S. Department of Agriculture Inspector General

Roger C. Viadero announced today that a federal grand jury in Burlington, Vt.

returned a 27-count indictment against eight dairy farmers from New York, one

from Vermont, and tree truck drivers who transported their milk from farm to

dairy. The 12 individuals were charged with violating federal laws relating

to conspiracy, food adulteration, stolen property, using false documents, and

witness tampering.



According to the indictment, all of the defendant dairy farmers were alleged

to have shipped the milk they produced to Fairdale Farms, a dairy processing plant

located in Bennington, Vt. The indictment alleges that between 1993 and August 1996,

the dairy farmers, acting in collusion with the truck drivers, conspired to defraud

Fairdale Farms by inflating the amount of milk that the farmers produced and shipped

to Fairdale. Fairdale's payments to its dairy producers depended on the weight of

milk each farmer shipped to the plant. Some farmers added a mixture of water and

salt to their milk to increase its weight. They then kicked back a portion of the

extra money they received from Fairdale to the truck drivers. Other farmers simply

paid the drivers to falsely increase the milk poundage reported to Fairdale, without

adding water to the milk.

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Response to KansDem (Reply #1)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 01:11 PM

27. Many Federal Government ties to Monsanto- need to let them know we don't approve.

 

President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor, a former VP and Lobbyist for Monsanto, the widely criticized Genetically Modified (GM) food multinational, as Senior Advisor to the Commissioner at the FDA. Taylor is the same person who was Food Safety Czar at the FDA when Genetically Modified Organisms were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty. Taylor was in charge of policy for Monsanto's now-discredited GM Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) which is directly linked to cancer and opposed by many medical and hospital organizations.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/2840334/posts

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Response to crunch60 (Reply #27)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 05:24 PM

34. And Tom Vilsack

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:12 AM

2. Let them sue

At some point someone has to stand up to them.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:26 AM

7. Agree...let them sue and then in court, in discovery and depositions, let it all come out about the

...."products" Montsanto is putting out there. I think that would only emphasize why the labeling is truly needed.

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Response to Pachamama (Reply #7)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:51 AM

11. If the media gives it good coverage.

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Response to Marrah_G (Reply #2)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:08 PM

21. It would be a P.R. nightmare for them.

To argue in public that they have the 'right' not to tell you what's in your food? Bring it on!

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:13 AM

3. This problem of corporate intimidation

of representative government has only been exacerbated by the Hacks in Black Citizens United ruling.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:18 AM

5. I HATE Monsanto...in my field and I would NEVER work there!

Monanto is evil incarnate.

Their practices and policies are a total bastardization of science and business and lost ethics. This is a company with the resources and knowledge to KNOW what harm they are doing and instead of using those resources to find solutions, they use lawyers and political force to drive their profit-above-EVERYTHING mantra.

I have skills and experience in biochemistry and in recombinant technologies (gene insertions, working with vectors, assaying enzyme and protein outputs, etc.) but I would rather take a job at McDonald's and lose my house and cars and possessions than allow one dollar of their blood money EVER enter my bank accounts intentionally!

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:23 AM

6. This could be a good thing. Making the issue very clear and

setting it in a way that maybe a larger number of people would see what's actually going on.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:41 AM

9. We need food to be labelled if it is GMO

even if some GM ingredients are in the foods.

In Europe they are?

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 10:55 AM

13. Monsanto can go Cheney itself.


I hate that company more than mere words can express.


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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 11:01 AM

14. Vermont has some serious food standards

As part of their "Made in Vermont" labeling. And unless Monsanto sues in Federal court, Vermont judges will hand them their asses.

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Response to Mopar151 (Reply #14)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:39 PM

25. I was wondering.. and Bernie Sanders, they have him..

and how DARE Monsanto threaten... VERMONT...
of all places?? People in Vermont are not dumb and passive.

seeds of Monsanto's undoing
by the grace of dog, god, and mother earth.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 11:11 AM

15. We need tort reform

No not the tort reform republicans and corporations desire that attempts to screw over individuals harmed by corporations......tort reform so corporations can't sue because they don't like having to be honest with consumers or having to comply with regulations put in place to protect the environment or sue each other because they don't like competition. Talk about a waste of resources and time for our courts....

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Response to abelenkpe (Reply #15)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:07 PM

35. We need tort reform that says "no cap on corporate liability - pay what it takes to make it right"

 

It's perfectly okay if a corporation goes under while attempting to pay its debts. It's also okay if a corporation is run by public trustees for a decade or so with the explicit goal of pouring all profits into victim compensation funds.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 11:20 AM

16. Go ahead, corporate citizen. Vermont is itching to make an example of Citizens United fiasco.

 

Boy, would I love to live in Vermont at times like these.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 11:51 AM

17. Bring it fuckers!

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Response to lonestarnot (Reply #17)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 01:40 PM

28. +10000000000000

 

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 11:56 AM

18. Are they going to sue Poland too?

There's going to be a lot of lawyers working overtime:

"Poland to ban Monsanto’s genetically modified maize"

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/04/04/poland-to-ban-monsantos-genetically-modified-maize/

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Response to wcollar (Reply #18)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:20 PM

24. France Bans Genetically Modified Corn

they did too

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Response to lovuian (Reply #24)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:52 AM

39. US to Start ‘Trade Wars’ with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops

Anthony Gucciardi
Infowars.com
January 3, 2012

The United States is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops with military-style trade wars, according to information obtained and released by the organization WikiLeaks.

Nations like France, which have moved to ban one of Monsanto’s GM corn varieties, were requested to be ‘penalized’ by the United States for opposing Monsanto and genetically modified foods.

The information reveals just how deep Monsanto’s roots have penetrated key positions within the United States government, with the cables reporting that many U.S. diplomats work directly for Monsanto.

http://www.infowars.com/leaked-us-to-start-%E2%80%98trade-wars%E2%80%99-with-nations-opposed-to-monsanto-gmo-crops/

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:02 PM

19. K&R (n/t)

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:03 PM

20. Didn't a law pass that required irradiated food to be labeled? I forget.

If so, how is this any different?


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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:10 PM

22. And this is why they are trying buy the Presidency and the SCOTUS.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:20 PM

23. What are they afraid of ...Be poud of your GMO crap

Label it so everyone knows how proud of it

don't try to hide when you know people will pay extra for organic

you have lost BOZO

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Response to lovuian (Reply #23)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:35 PM

30. Really, what do they have to be afraid of

if their product is so great? Monsanto acts like it has something to hide when it makes such a big fuss about labeling its products.

Oh, wait... Maybe they do.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 12:56 PM

26. "the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May"

C'mon legislators, stand up for your constituents and not for Monsanto, one of the worst corpos on the planet.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 02:11 PM

29. Take away corporate personhood,

and thus eliminate any corporation's power to legally issue "threats" to government and the people.

Movetoamend.org

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Response to Trillo (Reply #29)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 03:31 AM

37. Thanks for the link.

That amendment is one of our only hopes.

Both of our major political parties are entwined with Monsanto, the Democrats are as linked in as the Republicans.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 04:39 PM

31. K&R!

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 04:50 PM

32. Corporations *are* people!! Selfish, greedy, immature, me-first screw-everybody-else people.

They seem to engender the worst characteristics of humanity. Probably because they are the brain-child of sellers and marketers who somehow ended up believing that profit was their most important concern, as opposed to the humanities or culture or community.

If they are going to be characterized as people, then they should be treated like people in every justifiable way.

Poor Monsanto. Can't stand the light of day.

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 05:02 PM

33. It's past time for this showdown.....

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Thu Apr 5, 2012, 08:39 PM

36. The bastards are getting richer destroying the whole f planet nt

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Response to IDemo (Original post)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 08:17 AM

38. Anyone still think corporations aren't in charge?

raise you hands...

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #38)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:32 AM

40. Notice the absence of conversation about if GMO's should even be legal or not.

Also if life should even be patentable.

All people are asking for here is a damn label, and we can't even get that.

The real boss folks, is behind the curtain.

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Response to harun (Reply #40)

Fri Apr 6, 2012, 11:54 AM

41. oh, I think we'll get it

though I sure wish this guy was still Ag Chairman- and still in the VT House for that matter.

Zuckerman ran for the Vermont House in 1994 while enrolled at the University of Vermont. He lost by only 59 votes, but came back two years later to become the fourth Progressive Party member to serve in the State House. From 2005-2009 he served as the Chair of the House Agriculture Committee. He is also a member the Vermont Farm Bureau and The Northeast Organic Farming Association chapter in Vermont. He has also served on the American Farm Bureau Federation Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee and the Burlington Electric Commission.

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