Most Americans have been brought up to believe that we are the most free country in the world and repeat this with little thought or hesitation. I believe that at one point this was certainly the case, but sadly is not any more. There are some fundamental rights or freedoms that a person living in a truly free society should have. I could (and in the future probably should) write an article on all of these rights, but for now, I am only going to focus on the right to know what is in our food and drinks.
For those of you that don’t know, there is a war being raged all across the United States over this topic. On one side, we have people who believe they have the right to look at an ingredient label on their food and see everything inside of it, then decide if it is something that they want to consume. With more and more Americans waking up to the reality that our countries health is very poor, this side is growing bigger by the day. On the other side, we have a Big Agriculture that does everything it can to keep its Synthetic or Genetically Engineered products off labels- including suing both states and national governments. The most recent case (and what this article is focusing on) pertains to their Genetically Engineered Organisms– many of which are banned thought out the world with 64 countries making labeling GMO ingredients mandatory.
The fact that everyone on every single continent (except Antarctica of course) has the right to know what is in their food, yet the US doesn’t, should make many take pause before talking about our ”freedoms” in America.
However, the people’s side of this war has had some very big wins within the last few years. Many states have passed bills that say they will mandate food labeling with the caveat that the laws only go into effect if multiple surrounding states make it mandatory as well. Then Vermont and its glorious population of freedom loving people spoke up, demanding that their state representatives write a ”no strings attached” GMO labeling bill and it passed!
During this whole process of the bill becoming a law, Monsanto threatened to sue the State if it passed and when it did, they followed through with the threat. However, on April 27, the judge ruled that the law stands and will go into effect on July 1, 2016. Grocery Manufacturers Association (the organization Monsanto created to attack the labeling initiatives) has already asked the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to overturn the ruling. Unfortunately for this deceitful bunch, the hearing most likely will not take place in time to stop the bills implementation and they will have to start labeling GMOs in Vermont. Monsanto et al, can not have this because once the information is out there, people will not want it any other way and it will spread like a wild fire. Therefore, they have to work fast to find another way to stop it.
The Pompeo Bill
A week before the Vermont bill passed, Kansas Republican Congressmen Mike Pompeo, introduced a bill called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014. To me this bill can only be described as treasonous. It attempts to make it illegal for states to make GMO labeling laws– in other words, it throws out the Tenth Amendment! This bill would also allow these companies to continue to call foods filled with GMOs all natural or “natural” on the labels. At that time the bill never gained steam and was not enacted.
Unfortunately, this did not last long. Pompeo re-introduced this bill a month before the court’s decision to uphold the Vermont bill. It had 45 total co-signers, consisting of 25 Republicans and 12 Democrats– making this bill a perfect example of how at the national level, the two-party system is an illusion and these Politicians belong to one part– The party of Big Business.
Think this is blown out of proportion?
Like I stated in the last paragraph, this bill is effectively rewriting the 10th Amendment of the constitution– the very thing members of both parties swear to defend when they raise their right hands and repeat the oath of office. On a more party specific level, the Democrat political philosophy stands up for the consumers and does not try to help massive corporations deceive them. The Republican political philosophy claims to stick up for state’s rights and not try to rob them of it. But this rhetoric is just rhetoric at this level of politics.
There is a very good reason that they are trying so hard to keep their products off the label. It is not to save the money they claim the new labels supposedly cost. This argument is extremely weak and lacks any resemblance of logic because they would not pay the extra cost. The extra cost would be passed to the customer and they would pay the ”extra” cost at checkout. The reason why they don’t want it on the label is because they know people in the US will act like the people in the 64 other countries that label GMOs and avoid them for the naturally occurring counterparts.
This draconian bill (which critics refer to as the “Deny Americans the Right-to-Know” Act) must be stopped if we ever truly want to start regaining our food freedoms. We need to stand together with one voice and tell these congressmen and the plutocrats running Big Agriculture that we will not be denied the right to know what is in our food any longer. The Organic Consumers Association made sending our congressmen a letter about this very easy. The whole process takes around 3 minutes to do, which is something everyone can and should do to reassure they are eating the best quality foods that provide optimal health. Click here to do just that.