[Editor's Note: Exene Cervenka is a writer, visual artist and punk rock pioneer. The OC transplant is the lead singer for X, the Knitters and Original Sinners. Her new column, Exene Says…, is her space to basically just write what's on her mind, everything from crazy life stories to political theories and observations about what's going on in this fucked up world of ours. To contact her, send all messages to firstname.lastname@example.org.]
Beginning in 1972, with genetic manipulations of bacteria, a new breed of specially trained assholes have been fucking up the natural world, playing god, with no possible knowledge of the far-flung consequences that their actions will have on this planet. Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are everywhere, yes, everywhere. Bacteria, yeast, insects, plants, fish and mammals have all been messed with to create new species, chimeras.
In 2007, before President Obama's first term, he said he would label GMOs because we should know what we are eating. But last week, Congress passed the "Consolidated & Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013," or HR 933. Attached to that is Section 735, affectionately known as the "Monsanto Protection Act," because it protects the Monsanto Corporation from litigation. The rider came courtesy of Missouri Senator Roy Blunt, who told Politico's David Rogers that he "worked with" Monsanto to craft the rider. President Obama signed HR 933.
Is there any proof GMOs are harmful? I mean, bona-fide scientific proof? Maybe, maybe not. But if there are ill effects on human health SOMEDAY, Monsanto will be safe from worrying about that.
Agent Orange (chemical warfare brought to you by Monsanto and Dow) was used by the United States during the Vietnam War to destroy crops, jungle and remove people from rural areas. In addition to the death and devastation of innocent people in that region, Vietnam veterans have had a long, hard struggle to get the government to recognize the catastrophic health effects that they have endured from the use of Agent Orange.
The GREAT news is: HR 933 will expire in 6 months, on September 30, 2013. Maybe if we really, really beg our Congresscreatures, they will help it stay expired and not renew it. Because if Monsanto doesn't get held accountable for their actions, the precedent is set that no corporation should.
In 1985, the first Farm Aid concert was held in Champaign, Illinois. X got asked to play, and it was an honor. On July 4th, 1986, X played the second Farm Aid concert in Austin, Texas. I've always hoped that small family farms could be saved from the Agri-biz that was taking over America's land. Seems like it's all just one big farm now. And we're the animals.