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Saturday, November 9, 2013

Industry’s Secret Plan to Get the Feds to Kill GMO Labeling in Every State

But in the current GMA chutzpah scenario, the federal government would outlaw states from enacting GMO (genetically modified organisms, aka, "Frankenfoods") labeling, while food makers would not have to label their products. In other words, industry would stop the grassroots movement and not have to pay any price.

"This is not the way preemption is supposed to work. A quick primer. Preemption simply means that a higher law trumps a lower law: so federal trumps state, and state trumps local. This is often the most economically feasible policy approach for business. But it’s also industry’s way of ensuring uniformity and stopping a movement in its tracks. Here is the pattern: a grassroots movement builds over time to enact local or state laws to protect public health or increase the minimum wage, or some other social goal, and industry fights these efforts for years, until they can no longer win. At that point, corporate lobbyists either get their own weak bill passed, or work with advocates to pass a compromise version. In exchange, this new law will preempt or prevent any state or city from passing a different or stronger law. It will also negate any law already passed. Forever.

But usually, there is some underlying legal requirement that industry must follow for the concept of preemption to even make sense. The idea is to require some action by industry, with the trade-off for companies to follow one standard instead of 50. Take menu labeling in chain restaurants as a good example. For that issue, there was also a grassroots movement in both states and cities around the nation. So when the National Restaurant Association had enough of fighting those bills, the lobbying group agreed to a federal compromise to require only calorie counts (a weak standard) in exchange for preemption, that is, not allowing any state or local laws to go further. In fact, the Grocery Manufacturers Association itself endorsed this plan."

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/11/07-12

Do you want salmon genes spliced into your tomatoes, folks? Weird, to say the very least. What it amounts to is a real-time experiment on living people without our consent; not exactly freedom, especially if there's no labeling on said food experiments in the oh-so-hallowed Marketplace (e.g., the grocery store), no way for us to know what's Frankenfood, what's not. Get on the horn to your Congress critter and say NO to GMOs in  our food supply, or at least label the garbage, and let us leave it to rot on the shelves.