Barbara H. Peterson
To Fed or not to Fed. That is the question. To leave GMO labeling to the states or attempt to pressure the Feds to do it… or both? Or just maybe… none of the above?
GMO Labeling Bills
Some say that a federal GMO labeling bill is potentially bad because it will trump state labeling, which “has teeth.” Really? Teeth? Let’s just take a look at some of these “teeth:”
1. Hawaii just passed a labeling bill, but it only applies to imported GM food.
“…the amendment “only covers incoming raw agricultural products, which means that it basically covers very little, except a little crookneck squash, any Monsanto sweet corn brought fresh into the state, or if a non-browning GMO apple is approved.” So maybe it is not time to get too excited.”
“Despite the hoopla, Carol Okada, manager for the Plant Quarantine Branch of Hawaii’s Department of Agriculture, says the [biotech] business is here to stay and will still be booming in Hawaii 10 years down the road. “Even though it’s controversial here,” she says, “the [GM] seed industry is now the No. 1 industry for us and it is very important in terms of the economy, dealing with invasive species, and giving farmers choices.”
The bottom line: Hawaii may be the GM crop test capital of the world, but the debate over biotech foods is far from over.”
2. California’s Prop 37 failed to pass, but would have exempted foods:
…made from animals fed or injected with genetically engineered material but not genetically engineered themselves; processed with or containing only small amounts of genetically engineered ingredients; administered for treatment of medical conditions; sold for immediate consumption such as in a restaurant; or alcoholic beverages.
3. Washington’s measure:
… would not apply to meat or dairy products from animals fed genetically engineered feed, and it sharply limits the ability to collect damages for mislabeling.
This is not to say that a federal bill is much better, but the one I have found, H.R. 3553, does appear to have a few more teeth than the states':
‘(3) For purposes of subparagraph (1), a food shall be considered to have been produced with a genetically engineered material if–
‘(A) the organism (including fish) from which the food is derived has been injected or otherwise treated with a genetically engineered material (except that the use of manure as a fertilizer for raw agricultural commodities may not be construed to mean that such commodities are produced with a genetically engineered material),
‘(B) the animal (including fish) from which the food is derived has been fed genetically engineered material, or
‘(C) the food contains an ingredient that is a food to which clause (A) or (B) applies.
But goes on to exempt the following:
‘(4) This paragraph does not apply to food that–
‘(A) is served in restaurants or other establishments in which food is served for immediate human consumption,
‘(B) is processed and prepared primarily in a retail establishment, is ready for human consumption, which is of the type described in clause (A), and is offered for sale to consumers but not for immediate human consumption in such establishment and is not offered for sale outside such establishment, or
‘(C) is a medical food as defined in section 5(b) of the Orphan Drug Act.
At least at this point, the Fed’s bill acknowledges that meat from animals fed GMOs should be labeled. But who knows what will be included/excluded/compromised before anything even stands a snowball’s chance in hell of getting passed. Especially since it seems that certain corporations such as Wal-Mart, Pepsico and ConAgra agree that labeling is better than an outright ban and have decided to support GMO labeling at the federal level. Better to control the conversation through federal connections than deal with a plethora of individual state laws, eh?
Remember when Big Food started lobbying for a national organic certification program? Many organic growers protested the move, not only because certification would be costly (and possibly cost-prohibitive) for smaller farmers, but also because they felt the national standards far too lax.
It was an example of Big Food trying to control the inevitable in the hopes of increasing their profit margins…
…Rather than deal with a plethora of diverse laws in multiple states, Big Food wants to deal with one law of the land. And they want to control the national conversation so that whatever changes are enacted are the least costly to them.
So, the question remains for all of the so-called GMO labeling legislation, both state and federal….
Where’s the Teeth?
GMOs are hazardous materials that have no place on the planet, much less our dinner plates, and we the people are waking up. So, what is really happening on the GMO labeling front? A lot of hoopla for legislation that is really non-legislation. In other words, legislation that sounds good on the surface, but is really constructed as eye candy to appease the masses while enabling the proliferation and acceptance of GMOs at the same time. Labeling implies coexistence. Especially if that labeling is selective, only applying to certain GM products while others have free reign.
I want real teeth, not false teeth, and none of the labeling propositions that I have seen have them, and it doesn’t look like they will in the near future. Big Food has too much to lose, and enough money to corrupt any legitimate labeling venture. So, the fight for clean food boils down to what it always has been and always will be…. we the people getting off of our duffs and making the change in our own lives by personally boycotting GMOs. We have teeth, we just need to use them.
This nation needs to kick the GMO habit. People of this country are so strung out on them that they would rather die than give them up. And this is what keeps the GMO pushers in business, label or not.
I was in the local store the other day and saw a young couple fill the counter with things they were going to eat. I took a look, and every single thing on that counter was filled with GMOs and other toxic substances. I said “everything you have on that counter will kill you… slowly and painfully.” Their response was “oh well” and a shrug.
Let’s call it what it is. This is addiction. These people are junkies. GMO food junkies. And they are not alone. The nation is filled with them, happily munching on GMO this and GMO that, totally oblivious, and getting sicker by the minute. It’s time to say no to GMOs and mean it. If you’re going to slap a label on them, tell it like it is. They are an unacceptable risk to all life, and the only accurate label is a skull and crossbones. This stuff is killing the planet and every life form on it. If ingested, please call poison control…
Kicking the Habit
The only choice once you have decided to kick the GMO habit, is whether to go cold turkey, or gradual. I had to go cold turkey as I have a horrible reaction to GMOs. Once you kick GMO, herbicide-laden food, you are in for a big surprise. You will soon be able to taste the difference between real food and junk food.
What is junk food? Junk food is any food that is not natural. Anything GMO is junk. Anything riddled with pesticides and herbicides is junk. Anything designed with a shelf life of a piece of plastic is junk.
I HATE going into grocery stores. (Had to get a light bulb for the chicks) I eat so clean that I can smell a mouse fart at a 100 yards. So just walking PAST the cereal isle, I am overwhelmed with the horrifying stink of it all. (Doc Grable)
As your body gets rid of the toxins, your senses become sharper, and you begin to really taste your food. You also become aware of the acrid smell and taste of chemicals. And recognize that what you once ate was not food. It never was. And the thought hits you like a ton of bricks – What in the hell have I been poisoning myself with??? You have just woken up.
Join the Fight
It is a war. And it can be overwhelming. I am also overwhelmed, but with the horrifying stink of phony GMO labeling campaigns that are intended to promote coexistence when coexistence is not possible. Instead of caving in to the coexistence push, we need to call for an outright ban. We’ve gone long enough playing into biotech’s hands.
Now is the time to reject any and all food-like substances produced by biotechnology. Period. End of story. We start in our own homes. Every GMO you eat is a vote for Monsanto and the death of our food supply. Every GMO you reject is a vote for food safety and sovereignty. Vote now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.
As for the labeling issue… the only thing I really expect out of it is a raised public awareness of GMOs. Accuracy in that labeling is another story, and one that the GMO pushers can subvert at will. The one thing they cannot do anything about is an outright ban before there is nothing left to eat but GMOs.
©2013 Barbara H. Peterson