Seed preemption bills have been passed in at least 29 states, with most of those bills drawing from language crafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — a group that describes itself as “America’s largest nonpartisan, voluntary membership organization of state legislators dedicated to the principles of limited government, free markets, and federalism.”
But the Center for Media and Democracy describes ALEC as a “corporate bill mill,” whereby corporations pay to develop model legislation, which is then introduced as actual bills by conservative lawmakers in state legislatures across the country. The ALEC bill pipeline has resulted in a spate of conservative and corporate-friendly legislation that runs the gamut: protections for private prisons, anti-immigrant surveillance, public protest restrictions, and “stand your ground” gun laws.
In the case of seed preemption, state bills have been pushed by ALEC member agribusiness corporations, such as Bayer (which recently acquired Monsanto for $66 billion) and Dupont, in an attempt to get ahead of local efforts to ban GMO seeds. As the producers of these seeds and the chemicals used to grow them, these corporations obviously have a vested interest in having the laws on their side.