Intel Hub | June 21 2012
As readers of End the Lie likely know all too well, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), also known as genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GM) crops raise countless agricultural and health concerns.
Once again, this power has surfaced in Washington, this time in the rejection of an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill in the Senate which would have given states the right to demand that foods containing genetically modified ingredients be labeled as such.
You read that right, the amendment would not require states to have products labeled, rather, it would simply allow them to demand that the products be properly labeled.
At this point, you are probably wondering what the argument against giving people the right to know what is in their food might actually be.
Well, one argument came from the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee Debbie Stabenow. Stabenow claimed that it could somehow interfere with the development of drought resistant crops.
Personally, I found this to be completely nonsensical and devoid of any and all reason.
Giving states the right to demand the labeling of genetically modified foods for human consumption has absolutely nothing to do with the research and development of drought resistant crops.
The only shred of logic I can find in this claim is that decreased consumer demand of GMO foods would hurt the profits of the companies that develop the genetically engineered drought resistant crops.
Sorry, Stabenow, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles in a truly capitalist, not corporatist, system.
If consumers don’t want it and a business continues to attempt to shove it down their throats, the business will fail. Simple as that.
Unfortunately, we live under a government that thinks it knows better than the people who actually have to eat the stuff and thus will actually prevent people from getting their states to demand proper labeling of foods.
“Consumers certainly need to have available information. We need to make sure it’s accurate according to the FDA after they determine that,” Stabenow also said.
If we’re expecting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide information, we’re a lot worse off than I thought.
After all, the FDA has been sued for allegedly going after whistleblowers simply for actually doing their job and reporting dangerous medical products being approved by the FDA.
Furthermore, the FDA allowed seafood contaminated with oil to make it to the tables of American families and refuses to ban BPA in food packing despite the well documented risks. Relying on the FDA at this point is an absolute joke.
Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the man who introduced the amendment, pointed out, “This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate.”
“It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country,” he explained. “While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
Sanders was likely especially interested in the topic since Monsanto actually threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont over their insistence on knowing what is in their food.
I agree with Sanders in saying that this is a classic issue of states’ rights, which have been trampled on repeatedly in recent years.
“This is a very conservative amendment,” he said.
“It says that the American people should have the right to know what is in the food that they and their children are eating and if that food contains genetically engineered products,” Sanders added.
“This amendment grants states to authority to label genetically engineered foods it is not a mandate,” he said, according to Vermont Public Radio.
In making this point, Sanders is essentially pointing out that there is absolutely no legitimate reason for the Senate to block this amendment.
However, it is a good sign that 26 of our so-called representatives did vote for the amendment while a crushing 73 voted against it.
Hopefully the people of the United States of America never cease demanding the right to know what we put into our bodies, even if the industries who would like to sell us potentially dangerous products so thoroughly dominate the legislature.
This article originally appeared on End the Lie