March 14, 2016
Last Chance to stop SB 2609 Ban on GMO Labels
By Mark Wachtler
March 14, 2016. Washington, DC. (ONN) Polls repeatedly show that over 90 percent of the American people want genetically modified foods labeled as such. But Republicans and Democrats in Congress seem determined to deny them that right. Many of these GMO products are banned in Europe and Asia over safety concerns and manufacturers like Monsanto fear Americans will stop buying GMO foods if they are labeled. SB-2609, the Bill to ban GMO labeling laws, is about to become law itself.
The entire industrialized world, except for North America, require the labeling of GMO products. Image courtesy of Just Label It and Natural News.
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When Vermont became the first state in the nation to require the labeling of GMO products, some manufacturers like Campbell’s Soup announced they would begin labeling all their foods containing GMO’s. Others, like Monsanto, recruited members of Congress to pass a national law banning state labeling laws. After passing in the US House, SB-2609 the Bill to ban GMO labeling requirements, is now in the US Senate. If passed and signed by President Obama, it will be illegal to require GMO labels.
Monsanto’s DARK Act
“Monsanto’s dream Bill to ban GMO labels passed out of the Senate Agriculture Committee earlier this week and is now headed to the Senate floor,” Food and Water Watch’s Sarah Alexander warned Americans last week, “This could be your last chance to weigh in – ask your Senators to oppose this Bill, S.2609, and any attempt to prohibit labeling of GMO foods.”
Alexander goes on to warn, “Senate Bill 2609: Preempts state/local laws that require labeling of genetically engineered foods (GMOs) for all plants and animals, including GMO salmon; Tells the USDA to set up a voluntary labeling program, which is what we already have and no companies label; Forces the USDA to educate the public on the wonders of bioengineered foods.”
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Monsanto isn’t the only multi-national corporation attempting to thwart the will of the American people. In 2013, voters in California, Washington and a handful of other states voted on referendums that would have required GMO labeling in their states. In vote after vote, public opinion swung 180 degrees, from supporting labels to opposing them. What caused that sudden and temporary change of public opinion? Tens of millions of dollars of corporate money spent on dishonest ads.
Last week, the Grocery Manufacturers Association was found guilty in court of violating the laws surrounding campaign finance disclosures. The judge ruled that the GMA criminally withheld the source of the funding of its $14 million anti-labeling ad campaign in Washington State in 2013. Fortune Magazine quoted the court’s ruling saying the GMA ‘violated the spirit and letter of the law’.
GMA meeting notes and other documents obtained via a FOIA request show that keeping the identity of the corporate donors a secret was a prime objective of the anti-labeling ad campaign. Those same documents reveal that $10 million of the $14 million was donated by three multi-national corporations: PepsiCo, Nestle, and Coca Cola.
Environmental Protection Agency
Publications like Natural News have long warned that aside from the unknown dangers of GMO products, there are known dangers as well. The main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup Ready herbicide and pesticide is a substance called glyphosate. The company and the US EPA insist glyphosate is safe. But the World Health Organization recently disagreed, ruling it is a “probable carcinogen”.
The news outlet also reveals that documents obtained via a FOIA request show that three days after the WHO released its warning against glyphosate, Monsanto enlisted the US EPA to do its PR work. The corporation even supplied the federal agency with pro-GMO talking points. Three months later, the EPA obeyed and released a statement reiterating its position that glyphosate is safe for human consumption.