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A legislative mystery: Who dunnit?
Our congress critters can't even do right without turning it into a wrong!
They've been rewriting the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act, which has been so riddled with loopholes that the law itself is toxic to nature and human health. The good news is that Congress' rewrite is said to be a big step forward in protecting us and the Earth from the witches' brew of poisonous chemicals industry spews everywhere. But – look out! – tucked deep inside the 46-page proposal is a single paragraph known as the “Mysterious Monsanto Clause.”
Actually, the purpose of the paragraph is not at all mysterious – it shields the maker of highly-toxic PCB chemicals from liability for the enormous environmental and health damages they're causing. Also, the beneficiary of this exemption from lawsuits is no mystery. While Monsanto is not mentioned by name, it produced almost all the PCBs that now contaminate our water, soils, and bodies.
The mystery is this: Who slipped this gift for one corporate giant into the proposed law, with no public hearing, no debate, and no vote? Monsanto insists, with a straight face, that it never asked to be spared from having to shoulder any legal responsibility for recklessly profiteering on PCBs for decades.
Congressional insiders confide that House Republican staff members inserted the paragraph – but at the behest of which congress critter? That's a secret. Not one of them has had the guts or moral character to own up to this grand theft of taxpayer money, putting America's workaday families on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars to clean up Monsanto's massive mess.
The real mystery is that these thieving congressional Republicans can't figure out why most Americans consider them to be contemptible corporate whores.
“A Shield for Monsanto,” The New York Times, March 1, 2016.
“TSCA Modernization Act of 2015,” www.gop.gov, June 23, 2015.