Stop Rep. King's Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act!
The Farm Bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 11 includes an amendment introduced by the “notorious Iowa ag-industry henchman” Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa). The "Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act" amendment aims to eliminate the few state laws that ban cruel production practices, including extreme animal confinement in cages and crates, the force-feeding of ducks, horse slaughter, and shark finning. It might also wipe out states’ laws to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Please use the form below to urge Congress to cut Rep. King's Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act from the 2013 Farm Bill.
The Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act could wipe out food labeling and animal protection laws nationwide. Arizona’s law banning gestation crates, Michigan’s law banning veal crates, California’s law banning battery cages—they are all in jeopardy. And it doesn’t stop there: Every state factory farm confinement law, GMO labeling law, horse slaughter law, and puppy mill regulation—along with environmental protection, worker safety, and other important laws—are at risk if the amendment becomes law.
Rep. King says his amendment is merely an effort to "reinforce the Commerce Clause," by asserting "that a state cannot deny the trade of an agricultural product from another state based on its means of production." But, who is he kidding? Rep. King's amendment isn't about protecting the Commerce Clause, it's about protecting industrial agriculture.
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States warns that Rep. King's amendment could nullify "every state, county or local law that creates any standard or condition relating to an agricultural production activity – so we’d have no state laws for agricultural facilities relating to worker rights, animal welfare, environmental protection or public health.”
Could this amendment be used to wipe out states’ efforts, including citizen ballot initiatives, to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) thought so when Rep. King tried to attach the amendment to the failed 2012 Farm Bill. Heather White, Executive Director for EWG said at the time that the bill would “. . . apply to genetically engineered food labeling, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulation, antibiotics use in meat and other local and state food and farm regulations."
As more and more states pass GMO labeling laws, it would come as no surprise if Monsanto were looking for ways to stomp on states’ rights.
It also comes as no surprise that among the many contributors to Rep. King's election campaigns are companies involved in every production level in the GMO supply chain: seed and chemical companies (Monsanto, Syngenta), growers (Iowa Corn Growers' Association, American Farm Bureau), processors (American Crystal Sugar, Ag Processors), the factory farms that convert GMO grains to animal products (Beef Products Inc., the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, International Dairy Foods Association), and the junk food companies pushing GMO ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats (Cargill, Coca-Cola, ConAgra).
Whether Rep. King's Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act would hit one state food bill or a hundred (here's a list of more than 150 state laws that could be affected by King's amendment), it's clear who Rep. King is working for: Food Inc., not consumers.
Please send the letter below to voice your opposition to Rep. King's Monsanto & Animal Torture Protection Act. Your messages will have even more impact if you follow them up with calls. Your Congresspersons' phone numbers will appear when you enter your contact information below.