Some of our correspondents are going to have a field day bashing Republicans and moderate Democrats who voted against mandatory GMO labels. Yes, of course manufacturers can start labelling food GMO-free, and they should. Yes, of course Americans can write (and e-mail) food manufacturers about their concerns. We're entitled to demand that "Roundup-Ready" products marketed as food be burned; we're entitled to demand that they be wrapped up in a great big symbolic shape--the cross has been taken--and burned outside Monsanto corporate headquarters. And that should happen.
But our Congress should also have held the entire nation up to Vermont's standards for GMO labelling, rather than dragging Vermont down.
That said, I do understand that GMO labelling may be a hardship for some food manufacturers. Of course, the longer we stall, the worse the hardship will be. If GMOs hadn't been sneaked into the food supply, meat processors wouldn't have to worry about verifying what hogs or chickens have been fed.
Meanwhile...food manufacturers are U.S. citizens. They vote. In a democracy they're entitled to lean on the U.S. Congress like everyone else. I only wish Virginia's congressional representatives, who represent more small than large food producers, had stood up for the right thing...like ten years ago. If only for the record.
From U.S. Representative Morgan Griffith, R-VA-9:
On July 14, 2016, the House of Representatives considered the Senate Amendment to the House Amendment to S.764, dealing with GMO labeling requirements. This bill establishes mandatory labeling and disclosure requirements for genetically modified foods, under which the U.S. Department of Agriculture would determine which foods qualify as genetically modified. Food companies would then be able to choose among several methods of labeling and disclosing that the product contains GMOs to consumers. The labeling and disclosure requirements contained in this bill would pre-empt state standards. States would be prohibited from establishing a labeling requirement for bioengineered (also known as genetically modified organisms (GMOs)) in interstate commerce if the food is subject to the measures’national bioengineered food disclosure requirements. The Senate Amendment to the House Amendment to S. 764 passed the House on July 14, 2016.
I believe that this legislation was a case of a bad option vs. a worse option. The House version was a good bill (H.R. 1599) and I voted for it. While the Senate version would allow for some labeling requirements to be provided online, the mandatory requirement is unfortunate. I would anticipate that large food production companies will be unable to comply with this requirement since some of the food that they produce contains numerous ingredients such as corn, wheat, soy, etc. It will be difficult for them to determine if GMO products might be included due to cross-pollination with other nearby crops. Small manufacturers can more easily provide, with certainty, non-GMO selections as opposed to large companies. I would have preferred the House version become law, but the Senate version of the legislation is better than no action. This is because taking no action would allow a crazy quilt patchwork of state labeling laws to be implemented on companies that sell product in more than one state. Vermont already has such a law and failure to create a national standard now will cause such an unworkable patch work. Please know that I will keep your thoughts in mind should other legislation come to the floor of the House of Representatives regarding GMOs.
For more information on what is happening in Congress, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov. If I may be of further assistance to you on this, or any other issue, please feel free to contact me in my Washington, DC office at (202) 225-3861. I remain
H. MORGAN GRIFFITH"
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And how does this relate to Agenda 21? U.N. Agenda 21, breaking from traditional "Communist" ideology for practical reasons, calls for more support for huge factory farms owned by corporations, as opposed to small sustainable farms owned by families.