Senate Crushes Amendment For States’ Rights To Label GMO Products

Should States have a right to label GMO food products?  It sounds like a rhetorical question.  Of course States should be able to make that decision.  If food is genetically modified, why should a State not be able to pass legislation that will inform the consumer that this is the case?

GMO Food Labeling
Senator Bernie Sanders put forth an amendment for States to be allowed to have their food and drink products with GMO ingredients labeled accordingly. But of course, the Senate crushed such a preposterous idea.

Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont put forth an amendment that would allow States the power to label food and drink products containing GMO ingredients.  It was defeated in the Senate by an overwhelming vote of 29 in favor and 71 against.  

After seeing his amendment rejected by a vote of 29-71, Sen. Sanders (I-VT) said, “An overwhelming majority of Americans favor GMO labeling but virtually all of the major biotech and food corporations in the country oppose it. Today’s vote is a step forward on an important issue that 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.”

The amendment, which was co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), would have given states the clear authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering. The troubling thing for liberals and progressives is that more Democrats voted against the bill (28) than voted for it (24). (Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the lone Republican to vote for the amendment, because Republicans as a general rule believe that actually knowing what is in your food is big government.) Usual progressive voices Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown voted against the amendment, while corporate Democrat Chuck Schumer voted for it. [ ]

Debbie Stabenow’s Arguments Against States’ Rights To Label GMO Products

It was a Democratic Senator, Debbie Stabenow from Michigan that lead the charge against the amendment.  Below are a few quotes From Senator Stabenow singing the praises of GMO products while arguing against the amendment.

“This particular amendment would interfere with the FDA’s science-based process to determine what food labeling is necessary for consumers.”

“It’s also important to note that around the world now we are seeing genetically modified crops that have the ability to resist crop diseases and improve nutritional content and survive drought conditions in many developing countries.”

“We see wonderful work being done by foundations like the Gates Foundation and others, that are using new techniques to be able to feed hungry people.”

Let’s take for granted that every single one of those words spoken by Senator Stabenow is the absolute truth.  If this is the case, wouldn’t companies like Monsanto be proud to have foods with their ingredients labeled?  It would tell the consumer that they’re making the right choice; supporting people in developing nations that are hungry, while at the same time ingesting food with improved nutritional content.  These seem like excellent selling points.  Unless it’s bullshit. 

This seems like a thinly veiled, and successful, attempt to suppress the freedom of Americans to make knowledge based decisions on what products to purchase.  It is possible for people to do intense research before going grocery shopping, but it isn’t realistic.  Calories are not inherently evil, nor are the grams of protein and carbohydrates, yet those are on the labels of the food and drink products we buy.  But if you genetically modify a food should that not be within a States’ right to choose to include a GMO label?



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