May 302013
 
By Katherine Paul Organic Consumers Association, May 30, 2013 For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page. On the eve (May 24, 2013) of a worldwide protest  against Monsanto, 71 U.S. senators (listed below) voted against an amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill  that would have guaranteed states the right to enact mandatory GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling laws. Seventy-one Senators voted against you, the 90 percent of consumers who have said  that you want labels on foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Seventy-one Senators – including 28 so-called liberal Democrats and 43 Republican so-called defenders of states’ rights – voted against your state’s Constitutional Tenth Amendment right to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and local businesses. We know who those Senators are. And we plan to make certain that everyone who cares about food safety and food sovereignty knows who they are, too. We’ll make sure that every consumer, citizen, voter knows that last year Monsanto donated almost $6 million , more than any other company, to the agriculture lobby. And that almost $1 million of that money went directly to political candidates, including some of the 71 Senators who voted against states’ rights to label GMOs. And we will make sure that every one of those Senators knows that if they support any amendment or rider to the Farm Bill that would preempt state labeling laws, that if they fight labeling laws in any of their home states, we’ll support efforts to recall them where possible, or oppose them if recall isn’t an option. The Sanders Amendment: What and Why The Sanders amendment (S.AMDT.965) was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). Co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the amendment was intended to definitively establish that states have the right to require labeling of GE ingredients. In fact, states already have the right to enact mandatory GMO labeling laws, just as they’ve passed nearly 200 other state laws governing food safety and agriculture. State GMO labeling, and other food safety and food labeling laws, are guaranteed under the Constitution. Federal law, upheld for decades by federal court legal decisions, allows states to pass laws relating food safety or food labels when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has no prior regulations or prohibitions in place. There is currently no federal law or FDA (more…)