A controversial bill that will prevent states from creating their own labeling standards for genetically engineered foods has passed the House of Representatives and now heads to President Obama’s desk.
On Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a measure aimed at creating a federal standard for labeling genetically engineered or modified foods. Genetically modified or engineered seeds are engineered to have certain traits, such as resistance to herbicides. The majority of the United States’ corn and soybean crops are now GE, including a large portion that is used for animal feed.
Only days after the U.S. Senate passed their version of the bill, the U.S. House passed the bill with a 306 to 117. The bills would put the U.S. Department of Agriculture in charge of establishing “a uniform national disclosure standard for human food that is or may be bioengineered.” Critics of a federal standard worry about the USDA being pressured by biotechnology companies that have a close relationship to U.S. regulatory agencies. The proposal would also require companies producing foods with GE ingredients to post a label, including text on package, a symbol, or a link to a website via a QR code or similar technology. The bill will also prevent states and localities from passing their own labeling measures.
The House and Senate bills were equally controversial for the QR language that will allow manufacturers to direct consumers to a website or provide only a QR code for scanning. Critics have argued that the QR code or websites will discriminate against low income and elderly populations who may not have access to the Internet or a smartphone.
“It was at the behest of big industry that the QR code be listed as an option,” Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said. “Not what’s in the interest of the American consumer, but what a few special interests want.” McGovern also called for “a clear and easy-to-understand label or symbol, not some crazy QR code that only creates more hassle and confusion.”
“Food ingredients like beet sugar and soybean oil, which can be derived from genetically-engineered crops but contain next to no genetic material by the time they are processed, may not fall under the law’s definition of a bioengineered food, critics say,” Reuters reported about the Senate version.
Other critics of the bill say that GMO corn may also be excluded from labeling. This means that beet sugar, soy, and corn (the crops which are among the most genetically modified in the world) might not be covered under the current language of the bill.
“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) raised concerns about the involvement of the USDA in a list of worries sent in a June 27 memo to the Senate Agriculture Committee,” Reuters noted.
It’s important to note that both the Senate and House versions of the bill are extremely similar to the controversial Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which passed the House in June 2015 but ultimately failed amid heavy opposition. To critics, the bill was known as the “DARK” (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act because the law was also aimed at nullifying GMO labeling measures, such as the bill passed in Vermont.
As with the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the new bills could indeed lead to Americans being kept in the dark about what exactly is in their food. When it comes to food policy, more Americans are questioning the influence of biotechnology giants like Monsanto. Recently, Common Dreams reported, in data revealed by OpenSecrets.org and the Organic Consumers Association, that Senators who had voted on a procedural vote in favor of the Senate bill received more than twice as much in contributions from the agriculture lobby than those who voted “No” ($867,518 for the supporters vs. $350,877 for opponents).
Nearly every outlet and educated journalist is expecting Obama to sign the bill. In typical doublespeak fashion, the bill is being sold as a beneficial thing for the American people. Once again, the people will be handed a trophy and told that success has been achieved. After all the years of Marching Against Monsanto the U.S. government has relented and will make sure the food supply is properly labeled. Or at least that’s the version of events being sold by the deadstream media and politicians who stand to benefit.
In reality, the people are fighting a losing battle over the mainstream food production systems. The “powers that wish they were” are partnered with BigAg and the BioTech giants who continue to push genetically modified foods, pesticides, and more dependence on these same mainstream food production systems.
The answer? Extreme localization and creation of local food production. It’s possible and is inevitable for anyone who truly seeks to be food independent.
Derrick Broze is an investigative journalist and liberty activist. He is the Lead Investigative Reporter for ActivistPost.com and the founder of the TheConsciousResistance.com. Follow him on Twitter. Derrick is the author of two books: The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality and Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion.
Derrick is available for interviews. Please contact Derrick@activistpost.com
This article may be freely reposted in part or in full with author attribution and source link.
Fake television networks.
Fake False Flag Operations.
Fake food for fake people.
America is finished. You’all fell asleep at the wheel.
Now , we have a fatal collision.
The gubbers in the east should have to eat the monsatino crap.
Another weapon (slow acting poison) to avoid, like vaccines.
The FDA is bought off agency as is the no-name Potus, CONgress and Scotus.
The best way to push back on GM products is to no longer buy foods that contain high percentages of GM ingredients. Let’s start with breakfast cereal. Please attempt to prevent voluntary consumption of corn based cereals that are known to be high in GM AND help your children understand why Fruit Loops (among others) may cause them damage. This, may be difficult as unbiased, peer reviewed factual literature is becoming harder to find, but a dose of skepticism in your search may be helpful. The keys to finding honest reporting about GM products is twofold. 1) Who PAID for the study? 2) Who did the study? All university research on the subject is now suspect. Through direct funding of research on creating GM products the corporations have created an addiction in the scientific community to huge wads of cash that support the academic research community. I mean how many donors come along with millions of dollars directed at science? If you can keep your science department staffed and in new research facilities by just injecting a few newt genes into a sugar beet, who’s to know? That said, the number of uncorrupted test labs also continues to dwindle as with every negative report published the GM giants apply huge leverage to eliminate the lab, the leadership or the funding sources thus reducing the available sources of negative information. This carrot and stick approach to silencing truth in the debate about GM products is well on its way to eliminating resistance to GM products even without legislation. In the end it all boils down to “caveat emptor”. We all have to take personal responsibility for the food we eat. Grow some, buy from known local producers, but most of all reduce your processed food intake as much as possible. Every process step in packaging, storing and preparing ingredients for sale of food reduces its nutritional value, The more processing food endures the less it contains nutritional vigor and the more artificial it becomes. GM food is processed before it’s even planted. Making a plant more convenient and cheaper to grow does not necessarily improve its nutritional value, so why buy it? Products don’t need labels, people need to be smart consumers. If you can’t find a product growing naturally without corporate intervention, it’s probably not good for human consumption. Have you ever seen a Cheeto tree?
The engineers they tweak the DNA,
Fostering changes to the RNA,
The plants becoming something else,
…immunevolution modify man’s health,
And never will they accept the blame
for their arrogance and dangerous game,
and when the food cannot be eaten?
History recall the viral cretins.
So will Vermont & the three other states about to have a GMO law take them to court for violation of 10th amendment? The Fed has no right to prevent states from enforcing a legally mandated law.
Most bought and paid for academics spout off that states have no right to secede. From what I have seen there’s only one word they twist to say it’s so for their paymasters; “indivisible”. Which is of course bullshit!