By Madison Ruppert
June 21, 2012
As readers of End the Lie likely know all too well, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), also known as genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GM) crops raise countless agricultural and health concerns.
Once again, this power has surfaced in Washington, this time in the rejection of an amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill in the Senate which would have given states the right to demand that foods containing genetically modified ingredients be labeled as such.
You read that right, the amendment would not require states to have products labeled, rather, it would simply allow them to demand that the products be properly labeled.
At this point, you are probably wondering what the argument against giving people the right to know what is in their food might actually be.
Well, one argument came from the chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee Debbie Stabenow. Stabenow claimed that it could somehow interfere with the development of drought resistant crops.
Personally, I found this to be completely nonsensical and devoid of any and all reason.
Giving states the right to demand the labeling of genetically modified foods for human consumption has absolutely nothing to do with the research and development of drought resistant crops.
The only shred of logic I can find in this claim is that decreased consumer demand of GMO foods would hurt the profits of the companies that develop the genetically engineered drought resistant crops.
Sorry, Stabenow, but that’s just the way the cookie crumbles in a truly capitalist, not corporatist, system.
If consumers don’t want it and a business continues to attempt to shove it down their throats, the business will fail. Simple as that.
Unfortunately, we live under a government that thinks it knows better than the people who actually have to eat the stuff and thus will actually prevent people from getting their states to demand proper labeling of foods.
“Consumers certainly need to have available information. We need to make sure it’s accurate according to the FDA after they determine that,” Stabenow also said.
If we’re expecting the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to provide information, we’re a lot worse off than I thought.
After all, the FDA has been sued for allegedly going after whistleblowers simply for actually doing their job and reporting dangerous medical products being approved by the FDA.
Furthermore, the FDA allowed seafood contaminated with oil to make it to the tables of American families and refuses to ban BPA in food packing despite the well documented risks. Relying on the FDA at this point is an absolute joke.
Independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, the man who introduced the amendment, pointed out, “This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate.”
“It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country,” he explained. “While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
Sanders was likely especially interested in the topic since Monsanto actually threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont over their insistence on knowing what is in their food.
I agree with Sanders in saying that this is a classic issue of states’ rights, which have been trampled on repeatedly in recent years.
“This is a very conservative amendment,” he said.
“It says that the American people should have the right to know what is in the food that they and their children are eating and if that food contains genetically engineered products,” Sanders added.
“This amendment grants states to authority to label genetically engineered foods it is not a mandate,” he said, according to Vermont Public Radio.
In making this point, Sanders is essentially pointing out that there is absolutely no legitimate reason for the Senate to block this amendment.
However, it is a good sign that 26 of our so-called representatives did vote for the amendment while a crushing 73 voted against it.
Hopefully the people of the United States of America never cease demanding the right to know what we put into our bodies, even if the industries who would like to sell us potentially dangerous products so thoroughly dominate the legislature.
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This article originally appeared on End the Lie
5 Foods to Buy Organic Always
Wouldn’t it be nice to just trust that what you purchased from your local supermarket was good for you. I’m not talking about the convenience foods, cookies, or highly processed canned goods—I’m referring to the produce. Wouldn’t it be great to know that all of the natural and beautiful fruits and vegetables were completely safe for your consumption?
While these are likely the healthiest foods at the grocery store, we can no longer trust that they are completely safe. That’s just the times we live in. And while you have every right and justification to question every item you purchase, there are some you should always be wary of.
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that eating produce from what’s become known as the Dirty Dozen could result in you being exposed to 15 different pesticides every single day. The Dirty Dozen is a list of the most contaminated produce of our days. These foods are the most likely to be contaminated and therefore are the foods to buy organic always.
But not all of us have access to a great selection of organics. And even if the variety is there, sometimes the money isn’t. If you were only able to choose five different organic products, these would top the list:
- Peaches: Ninety-seven percent of peaches tested positive for pesticides, according to the EWG. And about 87% of them had two or more pesticide residues, some with combinations of up to 57 different chemicals.
- Apples: Ninety-two percent of apples tested positive for pesticides and 79% had two or more of the dangerous chemicals present.
- Celery: Ninety-six percent of celery tests positive for pesticides. One sample tested positive for 13 different pesticides!
- Cilantro: Technically it’s an herb, but it’s dirty. About 92.9% of cilantro is contaminated, 70.1% of which is contaminated by more than one chemical.
- Strawberries: Strawberries rank third on the list of contaminated fruits and vegetables, with 13 different pesticides per sample.
You can read more about the Dirty Dozen and how your favorites measured up here. You can also check out what’s known as the “Clean 15”, those fruits and vegetables with the least contamination and therefore not worth the extra cost of buying organic.
Start your own organic garden: Organic Gardening 101
When you can only get some organics, you have to think creatively and do what’s best for your health. Growing your own is perhaps the best option is space and weather permit.
Congress sides with Monsanto over GMO battle
The case for mandatory GMO labeling – even if you believe in limited government and the free market
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
For the record, I’m an opponent of most government mandates against individuals. When the government says you have to give your children vaccine shots, that’s a violation of your liberty. When Mayor Bloomberg says you can’t buy a 16 oz. soda in New York, that’s a violation of your liberty, too — even though I am opposed to soda consumption in general.
When the government says you can’t drink raw milk, or you can’t treat cancer with medicinal herbs, or you have to get EPA approval before building a house on your own neighborhood lot, those are all examples of government mandates against individuals gone terribly wrong.
But this GMO labeling ballot measure is not a government mandate against the People. In fact, it’s quite the opposite: A People-powered mandate against the corporations.
Forcing corporations to tell the truth
It is the People of California, after all, who developed this GMO labeling ballot measure, gathered the signatures, and put it on the ballot. And the point of it is solely to keep corporations honest about what they put in our food. It is, technically, merely an extension of existing food ingredient labeling laws, and I can’t think of a single person who would argue that food companies shouldn’t even be required to list food ingredients.
For the record, I’ve actually lived in a country where food ingredients were not required to be listed on labels. It was a nightmare trying to avoid MSG because food companies consistently and tirelessly seek to deceive consumers about what they put into foods. Without labeling laws, we would all soon be eating melamine, human fetal cells, and mystery chemicals of dubious origin (even beyond what we’re already eating).
If the GMO labeling issue were up to the government of California, there would be no ballot measure whatsoever. The biotech industry rules over corrupt government bureaucrats and politicians because it can always buy sufficient influence to kill any legislative initiative. Such is the reasoning behind a people-powered ballot measure: It is the one lawmaking mechanism still available to the People who can bypass corruption and go straight to the voters. Of course, even if passed, the ballot measure is subject to state Supreme Court interpretation, and that’s an important measure to make sure the masses of any state don’t enact a law that would deprive other people of their constitutional rights and liberties.
But GMO labeling is a threat to no one other than the deceptively-operated biotech industry itself. GMO labeling is an effort to force corporations to simply tell the truth on food labels so that moms, dads, children and everybody else can know what they’re buying and eating.
Filed Under: HEALTH/EUGENICS
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