The GMO Labeling Fight: No Matter the outcome, the U.S. Government is the Loser

For over two decades, the American people have been betrayed by their Government’s willingness to ignore the will of the people and act instead on behalf of the will of the biotech industry.

The GMO Labeling Fight -No Matter the outcome, the U.S. Government is the Loser Debra M. Strauss “Defying Nature: The Ethical Implications of Genetically Modified Plants,” Journal of Food Law & Policy Vol. 3, No. 1; 2007 (37 pages)

Jeff Kirkpatrick – Ban GMOs Now

For over two decades, the American people have been betrayed by their Government’s willingness to ignore the will of the people and act instead on behalf of the will of the biotech industry. The efforts to deny Americans information about the food they eat are not just unethical, they are an abhorrent act of betrayal and demonstrate a willingness to deceive, mislead, and spread disinformation about GMOs. This is not done for the sake of feeding the world, as is commonly claimed. We’ve heard promises for years about how great GMOs will be – the answer to all kinds of problems.

The truth is, GMOs are the problem – they are not the solution. The endless empty claims of the so-called benefits are lies. The so-called “science” that Senators Stabenow and Roberts use as a justification to deny Americans the ability to be informed consumers is nothing more than corporate propaganda, talking points handed to them by their puppet masters.

Stabenow is one of many who cannot even differentiate between biotechnology and GMOs. She has consistently stated constantly that she believes “biotechnology is safe.” She equates a science with a product of that science; and even that is incorrect. The term biotechnology has been around for almost a century. (“The term biotechnology was coined in 1919 by Karl Ereky, a Hungarian engineer.1”). What she probably means is modern biotechnology, but – okay – everybody uses the term biotechnology these days when they really mean modern biotechnology, so she gets a pass on that. But there is no excuse for the level of ignorance she displays about a subject that she not only advocates for, but makes policy decisions about. She has to be kicked out of the Senate at once, as do all of those other clowns who voted for this recent version of the Extreme DARK Act. Each one has betrayed America. Repeatedly.

This latest act of prostitution by the Senators was an effort to stop Vermont’s GMO labeling bill which takes effect on July 1, 2016. When they sell themselves and their services to the highest bidder while at the same time spit in the face of Americans, then it’s justified to call it prostitution.

There really isn’t a whole lot that can be said about the details that hasn’t already been expressed by so many people.2 The proposed bill is going to allow the use of QR codes which will require a certain phone and certain plan at a certain price. And it will require, for those who can afford this, a very good internet connection wherever they shop. And if they have those things, it will require time and effort to scan it, wait for the image to upload, wait for the food manufacturer’s website to respond. Shoppers must do this for every product. This won’t even take effect for two years. And then, the USDA secretary has a year to do a follow-up study after it goes into effect to demonstrate it does not discriminate against the poor and the elderly, which it does, and the new Secretary will lie and say it does not. The USDA’s conflict of interest in funding GMO research, co-owning GMO patents, and helping to shove GMOs down the throats of citizens across the globe demonstrates an intrinsic bias; they will either do the fake study themselves, or they will hire a biased group to tell the lies for them.

When a food company does not label their magic concoction that has GMOs in it, there won’t be any punishment. No penalty. So … why bother? They won’t.

This proposal automatically discriminates against one third of the country because of the complications involved with this QR code and financial difficulties.3 Even pro-GMO people should acknowledge that reality, but since they don’t, it is demonstrative of a lack of empathy; this is a trait shared by sociopaths.

“But they can just buy organic or non-GMO labeled food,” is the mantra of the stupid. With 42 million Americans living with food insecurity, this isn’t even a consideration. When a family puts off paying the electric bill to buy cheap crap for dinner, telling them to shop for organic food isn’t just insensitive, isn’t just a reflection of pure stupidity, it is an outright slap across the face to them. Let’s not forget that over 29 million Americans live in food deserts where basic food is not even available, unless you consider a diet of beer and other alcohol products food. Those communities are poor and tend to be minorities. When Congressman and their witnesses who testify at hearings repeat the stupid mantra “they can just buy organic or non-GMO labeled food” they aren’t just showing they are clueless assholes, they are demonstrating what cruel beings they are; such creatures are insignificant gnats in the scheme of the universe. Their very existence is nothing but a waste of space.

They belong in hell.

I’ve written about this topic before – “GMOs discriminate against the poor,” May 31, 2016, “Genetically Modified Failures of the US Government,” June 8, 2016 and “An Open Letter to Congress: Label GMOs,” Last updated June 11, 2016. But here’s the thing. I don’t have patience for this bullshit anymore. It’s time to call for a ban on GMOs.

This government won’t give us what we want anyway, and what is needed is a ban. The labeling issue is fine for those who have the ability to choose. But millions do not. And the ecological destruction that continues to take place is unacceptable. Labels will never address this – ever.

“As citizens, we must take responsibility for the future. We are at a time in our world’s history where we can no longer afford to violate the laws of nature in our haste for progress. We must not only acknowledge, but also honor the intimate relationship we share with everything in the universe. There is an order in the universe, a seamless web that nourishes and connects us all from the tiniest seed, to the beating of our hearts, to the stars in the galaxies. Every time we act without reference to this underlying intelligence of natural law, we harm ourselves, we harm each other, and we harm our planet. – Dr. Surjit Kaur, “Sikh Perspective on Modern Scientific Technology,” by Dr. Surjit Kaur, Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh; 2010

“Life is not simply about individual genes – it is organized into cells, organisms and interactions with the environment … Ultimately ‘life’ can only ever be seen as a whole. Genetic engineering, on the other hand, treats living organisms as if they were simply an accumulation of DNA, whose individual components can be recombined like pieces of Lego. The strategy behind this is to reduce the actual complexity of life functions, and then concentrate on the apparently controllable individual parts. The segment selected to be investigated, controlled and manipulated is only ever an ancillary construction often determined by economic interests, and frequently having nothing at all to do with biological reality. The genome and the epigenome are in constant interaction with the environment. They are part of a complex system that has been optimized over billions of years, the characteristics of which amount to far more than its individual parts. Life in its present forms and its further evolution are a continuum dating back billions of years … All the indications are that we are currently just at the start of environmental pollution on an unprecedented scale: The uncontrolled spread of technically created genomes and organisms into the biosphere of planet earth. There is clearly a need for statutory regulation: Each and every release of a genetically manipulated organism must – insofar as it is not prohibited – be at least controllable in its spatial and temporal dimensions. Ethical boundaries need to take the integrity of the genome into consideration. Genes and living organisms must be excluded from patenting.” Testbiotech, “Biotechnology, genetic engineering and our responsibility for nature

Even though I support a ban on GMOs, I believe we have to fight this bill with everything we have. It’s an affront to democracy. It is a spit in the face of American citizens. Anyone who supports a ban should see this as the fundamental threat that it really is and not only object to it, but fight against it in whatever ways are possible for each individual.4

“The First Amendment directs us to be especially skeptical of regulations that seek to keep people in the dark for what the government perceives to be their own good … ‘Some of the ideas and information are vital, some of slight worth. But the general rule is that the speaker and the audience, not the government, assess the value of the information presented.’” Liquormart, Inc. v. Rhode Island, 517 U.S. (1996) [Supreme Court] – quoting Edenfield v. Fane, 507 U.S. 761, 767 (1993).

If GMO supporters really cared about democracy over profits, they too would fight this bill – but they won’t. They will support it, as per usual. When it comes to ethics and GMOs, supporters have none. There has never been any consideration of the ethical implications of denying people’s right to know about the food they eat in a free society.

“Is it right to assume that a few scientists can improve on the results of billions of years of natural evolution? … By genetically modifying organisms, a scientist assumes that this extremely new science is better for populating the world than God or any other Creator, including natural evolution and natural selection … Ethical egoism is the belief that selfishness is a virtue, as each person is best suited to know his owns needs and interests. This means that each person should act in such a way that would benefit only himself, with no regard for the greater good or for society as a whole. When discussing genetic engineering, it is obvious that many researchers are practicing this technique in a very egoistic manner. While some companies or individuals may have enormous concern for the welfare of the environment and human health, others are genetically modifying organisms without thought of the possible consequences. These companies or individuals are thinking only of the benefits to themselves. Many will make a lot of money from their products, and may also achieve fame.” [Citations omitted] – Teresa Carlson, “Genetic Engineering: A Question of Ethics,” Mälardalen University, Sweden; November 2006 (8 pages).

When it comes to our government, they have failed us over and over. They have already lost on this issue. They have lost it purely on ethical grounds, if nothing else. They have lost the trust of the American people, and because they have done so by ignoring the will of the people and have upheld the will of the biotech industry instead, they are the losers here. The promotion of lies and disinformation under the label of “science” is a just a symptom of a greater problem revolving around ignorance, corruption and greed for power. They don’t want Americans to know what they are eating because of some fake reasons about GMOs feeding the world. That’s pure bullshit. The real concern here is the bottom line. And as we know, if the biotech industry cannot succeed with transparency, then their GMOs don’t belong in our grocery stores and kitchens.

“If the GMO industry can’t survive consumer choice, then those foods shouldn’t be sitting on grocery shelves of American grocery stores, and no scientist, corporation, political entity or university should stand in the way of that democratic process,” Mike Zelina, et al., “The Health Effects of Genetically Engineered Crops on San Luis Obispo County,” August, 2006 (59 pages).

“[U]ltimately the GMO debate is not about pro-science versus anti-science.  Rather, it is about corporate influenced scientific research or scientific research grounded in the public good.  In this internal battle for the conscience, ethics and integrity of science, scientists ignore Einstein’s ethical caution that technologies, including genetic engineering, should be developed with scientific certainty that people’s health and safety will not be impacted.  In the GMO debate, while the fate of people, their health, and environment are at stake, so are the ethics, credibility and integrity of scientific research.” – Professor Chaumtoli Huq, “Bioethics, Scientific Research and the GMO Debate,” Law at the Margins; September 22, 2013

 

pdf icon You can view or download the full text of the Senate Bill proposal as it was posted on June 23, 2016. “To amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to require the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national disclosure standard for bioengineered foods, and for other purposes” as of June 23, 2016 (14 pages)

pdf icon You can download a copy of  an excerpt from the Senate Congressional Record related to the GMO bill on June 29, 2016 (7 pages). I have extracted it from the 98 page document and highlighted sections for easier reading. It wasn’t really a flood debate. It was an act of deception by GMO supporters in the Senate. In the end, that’s the only reason GMOs are everywhere now: they are built on a mountain of lies, deception and the spread of disinformation, all driven by an insatiable desire to satisfy the endless craving brought on by greed.

I’ve had enough. It’s time to ban this shit.

 

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Introduction to Molecular Biology and Genetic Engineering (Biosafety Resource Book: Module A),” by Oliver Brandenburg, et al, FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations), 2011 (146 pages)

2DARK Act Fact Sheet,” by Alexis Baden-Mayer, Organic Consumers Association; June 28, 2016 [At the top of this article is an option to download the ‘DARK Act fact Sheet’ in a pdf format]

At ‘Crucial Moment’ For GMO Labeling, Organic Industry Finds Itself Divided,” by Cary Gillam, Huffington Post; June 29, 2016

Will Senate Vote Nullify Vermont’s Historic GMO Labeling Law?” by Wenonah Hauter, EcoWatch; June 30, 2016

Senate Compromise on GMO Labeling is Blow to America’s Right to Know,” by the Center for Food Safety; June 23, 2016

pdf icon You can also download this brief explanation by the Center for Food Safety which highlights the main problems with this proposed bill: “Dear Members of Congress – Having trouble reading this message?” by the Center for Food Safety (2 pages)

Food and Drug Administration Strongly Criticizes Stabenow/Roberts Draft GMO Labeling Bill,” by the Center for Food Safety; June 29, 2016

Excerpt: The FDA “has issued its technical comments to the Senate Agriculture Committee on the proposed labeling bill being put forward by Senators Roberts and Stabenow, and they are strongly critical. Most notably the agency red flags the bill’s narrow and ambiguous definition of ‘bioengineering,’ which ‘will likely mean that many foods from GE sources will not be subject to this bill. For instance, oil made from GE soy would not have any genetic material in it. Likewise, starches and purified proteins would not be covered.’”

US FDA Slams New GMO Labeling Dark Act over QR Codes and Bioengineering,” by Sustainable Pulse; June 30, 2016

Senator Stabenow’s ‘Smart’ Labels Would Hit Her Hometown Residents Hard,” by Andrew Kimbrell, Center for Food Safety; May 26, 2016

3Senate Compromise on GMO Labeling is Blow to America’s Right to Know,” by Center for Food Safety; June 23, 2016

4Contacting the Congress” is a website to help you find your Congressional representatives

 

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सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate

(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)

 

Re-posting is encouraged, provided the URL of the original is posted with attribution to the original author and all links are preserved to the referenced articles, reports, etc. on their respective websites.

Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2016 Ban GMOs Now All rights reserved.

3 thoughts on “The GMO Labeling Fight: No Matter the outcome, the U.S. Government is the Loser

  1. Reblogged this on Ban GMOs Now Blog and commented:

    “This government won’t give us what we want anyway, and what is needed is a ban. The labeling issue is fine for those who have the ability to choose. But millions do not. And the ecological destruction that continues to take place is unacceptable. Labels will never address this – ever.”

    Like

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