September 23, 2013
National Ban on GMO labeling in the works
September 23, 2013. Washington. With 9 out of 10 Americans in support of labeling genetically engineered (GMO) food products, the writing is on the wall for corporations like Monsanto. Two states have passed laws requiring such labels, with more on the way. But reports from Washington suggest the biotech industry is moving to pass a national anti-labeling law that would supersede all state laws requiring such labeling.
A national law outlawing GMO labeling would void all state laws requiring it. Image courtesy of Citizens for GMO Labeling.
It wouldn’t be the first time the federal government mandated something to be illegal while states passed laws insisting the opposite. Most recently, tens of thousands of medical marijuana clinics have opened in dozens of states around the country. Completely legal by state, county and local law, the Obama administration has repeatedly sent heavily-armed troops into these clinics, arresting wheelchair-bound cancer victims, legless war wounded and emaciated AIDS victims.
With states starting to mandate the labeling of genetically modified foods and the US Congress being accused of maneuvering to trump those laws, it’s quite possible based on past precedents that federal agents in armored personnel carriers could be storming a grocery store near you, arresting all the employees for violating federal law by actually labeling genetically engineered foods. Think it’s crazy? It’s no crazier than storming medical clinics and arresting cancer victims, AIDS patients and war amputees.
Battle on the State level
For the first time ever, state laws are on the books requiring GMO labeling. Connecticut and Maine both successfully passed laws this year. Showing how serious corporations like Monsanto, DuPont and Simplot are to thwart GMO labeling, their PACs and PR firms spent hundreds of millions of dollars in California last year just to defeat that state’s mandatory labeling ballot initiative.
The fact is, corporate scientists in laboratories are tinkering with the genetic sequence of the world’s food supply so they can create food-like substitutes that are bigger, brighter and produce deadly pesticides like humans produce blood – and consumers don’t like or trust it. Not only are grassroots activists winning in states like Connecticut and Maine, but corporations like McDonalds and Whole Foods are also actively opposing GMO products.
A report from Connecticut’s local CT Mirror last week illustrates that the GMO corporations’ biggest fears are coming true. A unique provision of the Connecticut labeling law requires that it not go into effect until at least four other northeast states, including one that borders CT, also pass mandatory labeling laws. The result is that the shockingly successful grassroots activists in Connecticut are now taking their efforts national, and they’re getting some powerful help.
“We believe the trigger clause in our Bill is a call to action and we’ve accepted that call,” Tara Littman-Cook said, “Citizens for GMO Labeling will provide the professional advocacy, grassroots and social media support activists need to win.” Littman-Cook is the founder of GMO Free CT, the grassroots group that shocked the nation by getting a GMO labeling law passed there. She’s now started a national organization – Citizens for GMO Labeling.
Getting ready for a national fight
First, the grocery store Whole Foods announced it would require GMO labeling on all its products by 2018. Then, McDonalds announced it would phase out all GMO ingredients from its Chipotle restaurants just as soon as it could find replacement suppliers. With trends like those, biotech corporations have reportedly retreated and moved their resources to the US Congress where they can thwart the efforts of local grassroots activists and national pro-labeling companies at the same time.
There are currently two GMO Bills being talked about in Washington right now. One is the notorious Monsanto Protection Act which was just re-submitted into legislation again. The other is the national ban on GMO labeling, something that has only just surfaced and is still not represented in any actual Bills. But word is spreading and anti-GMO consumer groups are already enlisting Congressmen to fight it.
Monsanto Protection Act
In March, a short but impactful piece of legislation was secretly and anonymously slipped into an emergency spending Bill in the US Senate. It’s called the Monsanto Protection Act, and among other things, it shields GMO corporations like Monsanto from civil or criminal lawsuits for harming or killing Americans with its untested, laboratory-created, genetically altered products. It also mandates that even if the USDA or FDA bans a GMO product because it’s unsafe, the Monsanto Protection Act overrules any rules or other regulatory actions, making it illegal to stop the sale of the harmful GMO products.
For more information, read the Whiteout Press article, ‘Full Text of the just-passed Monsanto Protection Act’.
The only good news for consumers is that the Monsanto Protection Act was secretly slipped into a temporary, six-month, emergency spending law that expires at the end of this month. As you watch the news and hear the countdown to a government shutdown, that’s also the countdown to the expiration of the Monsanto Protection Act.
This weekend, Natural News reported however that the Monsanto Protection Act was secretly slipped into the Republican House spending Bill that passed last week and was sent to the Senate. While the corporate media dedicates its coverage to the battle over Obamacare in the spending package, the GMO protection law quietly sits in the same piece of legislation.
“The text of the Bill the provision is tucked away in was released…by House Appropriations Committee Chairman, and recipient of Monsanto campaign contributions in 2010 and 2012, Harold Rogers of Kentucky,” the article quotes Digital Journal’s Justin King.
National Anti-Labeling Law
In an attempt to rally the troops and warn consumers, the Center for Food Safety just announced that word is quietly spreading through Washington that corporations like Monsanto, DuPont, Simplot and the rest of the biotechnology industry have flooded the nation’s capitol in recent weeks with their lobbyists and campaign dollars.
Many thought the goal of their visit was to insure the re-passage of the Monsanto Protection Act, which actually shields all biotech corporations from regulation and prosecution. But reports are quickly emerging that the target of their efforts is nothing short of a national ban on all GMO labeling. While a watered-down Bill might only void state mandates for labeling, a really ambitious Bill could actually make it illegal for non-GMO brands to print that fact on their labels.
The warning from the Center for Food Safety begins, ‘On the heels of the passage of mandatory genetically engineered (GE) food labeling bills in Connecticut and Maine, and the introduction of labeling bills in over 20 other states, Monsanto’s allies in Congress are rumored to be working on a bill to preempt the ability of states to enact their own labeling laws for genetically engineered (GE) foods.’
Since very little information is known at this early stage regarding a secret GMO labeling ban being drafted in Washington, the Center’s announcement reminds consumers what’s at stake with GMO products.
‘There is overwhelming public demand – consistently near 95% – for labeling of GE foods,’ the consumer advocates remind supporters, ‘Yet the US is one of the only developed countries in the world that doesn’t require labeling; sixty-four countries have mandatory labeling policies for GE foods including South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, South Africa, Australia, the entire European Union, among others.’
The group also reminds anti-GMO activists that their efforts are slowly succeeding and momentum is on their side. ‘Already in 2013, over 50 GE labeling bills have been introduced in 26 states, including Hawaii, Washington, Indiana, Missouri, and Vermont, with many more expected by year’s end.’ In reality, that last statistic is most-likely the driving force behind the biotech industry’s new strategy to circumvent the states and get a national GMO label ban passed that would overrule them.
As a warning for anti-GMO activists, it’s worth reminding them that they most-likely won’t get any advanced warning and will have zero time to lobby Congress against a ban on GMO labeling. As with the Monsanto Protection Act, it was secretly and quietly slipped into an unrelated Bill and passed into law without debate and before anyone knew what happened. Even a large number of US Senators who voted for the Monsanto Protection Act immediately came forward and publicly admitted they had no idea the Act was even in the Bill they voted for. With a successful model like that, watch for it to go down the exact same way again.
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