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HR 875 - Monsanto's Dream Bill or an Internet Rumor

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A recent blog post entitled Monsanto's Dream Bill - HR 875 has created some ripples in the blogosphere and beyond. Several newspapers and even a radio station have picked up on it, and Monsanto has gotten a number of emails and phone calls.

The post claims Monsanto is behind the food safety Bill HR 875.  The article explains that the bill is sponsored by Democratic Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro and claims that her husband, Stanley Greenberg, "works for Monsanto". It goes on to describe how the bill would give incredible power to Monsanto by criminalizing seed banking, requiring 24 hour GPS tracking of animals, stripping away of property rights, and forcing industrialized farming on America.

The trouble with this article is most of what is stated within it is untrue. Most notable is the allegation that Monsanto is behind this bill.  The reality is that Monsanto does not even have a position on the bill. As far as Stanley Greenberg working for Monsanto - he did some contract work for Monsanto more than ten years ago.

I have  actually read HR 875, a claim the author apparently cannot make. Nowhere is there any mention of seed banks, loss of property rights, or GPS tracking of animals.  The bill seems to be nothing more egregious than a well-intentioned effort to improve food safety laws and processes. It was no doubt written in response to public concerns with relatively recent incidents with peanut butter, ground beef, spinach, etc.

The likely root of the offending blog post is a concern that food laws will make it more difficult to sell and process food that is grown locally.  That's a legitimate concern-especially for small enterprises that are hurt disproportionately by the fixed costs of regulation, which larger businesses can spread across more revenue.

I can't say whether HR 875 would be effective at improving food safety, or whether it would create unreasonable burdens on local production and sale.  But this is the discussion that needs to take place both in the blogosphere as well as in Washington.  Wild and unsupported allegations do nothing to further the policy goals of improving food safety or supporting local food production and sale.

 

www.monsantoblog.com

Brad is a Director of Public Affairs at Monsanto. Prior to coming to Monsanto, he was with the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources where managed the Department regulatory and environmental programs. Brad has been working in (more...)
 

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I came from a dry farm background many years ago.&... by Margaret Bassett on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:27:33 AM
I'm sorry brad, but if you work for Monsanto, ... by jesse robinson on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 8:03:54 AM
Jesse, who would you consider objective? Anti-biot... by Brad Mitchell on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 8:34:54 AM
Monsanto and other agribusiness raid farms, sue sm... by Janiece Senn on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:45:22 AM
I would argue that the problem comes when you beli... by Brad Mitchell on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 11:01:16 AM
By first hand accounts, farmers are claiming they ... by Dee West on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:46:00 PM
Dee from what I have seen on both sides of this is... by E. Nelson on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 2:26:27 AM
Are you listening to farmers? Or are you listening... by Brad Mitchell on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 8:24:13 AM
Sorry dude. I belong to no groups, I am a capitali... by gail combs on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 11:49:16 AM
What Monsanto has done is effectively got a Patent... by Brad on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:11:55 PM
The best way to get out the truth is to have an op... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 8:44:17 AM
This bill does not favor my company. There is n... by Brad Mitchell on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:35:19 AM
damn I plussed it by mistake!! brad your company... by amicus curiae on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 11:11:33 AM
Brad, how much does Monsanto spend per year on lob... by Dee West on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:50:05 PM
Monsanto is a company that should be destroyed and... by Akingu Alhazred on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 9:59:35 AM
links that counter Brads argument:lemmingreport.bl... by Akingu Alhazred on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:07:20 AM
HR 875 Could Result in Arrest, Imprisonment of CEO... by amicus curiae on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:48:25 AM
This assault on Americans' sovereignty by mult... by Fred Mitchell on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 10:53:56 AM
Brad, you're wrong about Monsanto not intimida... by Anne Johnson on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 11:54:35 AM
Anne and E. Nelson, my apologies. This reply was f... by Brad Mitchell on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 8:41:33 AM
Monsanto is a disgusting company that is wrecking ... by Ingrid on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 3:52:20 PM
Well Brad, this is hardly a new issue, that of Mon... by William Whitten on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:36:25 PM
      The big problem, Br... by mary sunshine on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:49:08 PM
Now I know what this reminds me of.....this attitu... by cpaddock 1252335501 on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 12:59:03 PM
which has become a source of articles about food s... by Laudyms on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 2:02:01 PM
For centuries, our bodies lived very healthy on wh... by Mel Smith on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 2:07:26 PM
you have a neighbor who is in the habit of pu... by peggyn on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 4:57:22 PM
Brad, You are right, we shouldn’t beli... by Concerned Citizen on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 5:18:46 PM
for info on bees deaths and bats to, go to www.nat... by amicus curiae on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:27:05 AM
Monsanto, Cagill, ADM, DuPont, Dow and the rest ar... by Patrick Lafferty on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 7:17:42 PM
If we stop a moment and look at this a few points ... by Lee Cornell on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 7:45:56 PM
Consider "World According to Monsanto" b... by Patrick Lafferty on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 8:02:10 PM
The idea behind genetic modification is not to sel... by Steve Hanken on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 8:14:57 PM
Would Say This!Monsanto is a savage capitalist co... by Martha Rose Crow on Saturday, Mar 21, 2009 at 9:48:34 PM
Brad clearly identified himself as a Public Affair... by Bryan Emmel on Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 12:48:26 AM
"On the other hand, I have read HR 875 and it lead... by Patrick Lafferty on Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 11:05:41 AM
bryan, e coli is spread mainly during bad handling... by amicus curiae on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:48:40 AM
I still haven't gotten a straight answer from anyo... by E. Nelson on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 2:14:20 AM
It's brave of you to post in the lion's den like t... by Oh on Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 8:17:58 AM
Monsanto has had a great deal of success in the co... by cosmic J. on Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 1:08:16 PM
thanks cosmic J. for bringing up the cross pollina... by Janiece Senn on Sunday, Mar 22, 2009 at 11:18:59 PM
I have seen the issue of cross pollination come up... by E. Nelson on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 2:39:33 AM
Just need to take a breaks sometimes and this isn&... by Brad Mitchell on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 8:46:59 AM
The issue of cross-pollination between GM seeds an... by E. Nelson on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 10:16:15 AM
yup me again, i had read about how they were block... by amicus curiae on Monday, Mar 23, 2009 at 12:00:25 AM
 From, California Certified Organic FarmersDe... by Brad Mitchell on Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009 at 11:01:35 AM
I've been following this blog for a week or two be... by Alan Buckett on Tuesday, Mar 24, 2009 at 11:01:17 PM