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Excerpt: "Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would let states require that any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients be clearly labeled."

Consumers have the right to know if their food has been genetically altered. (photo: Sanders.gov)
Consumers have the right to know if their food has been genetically altered. (photo: Sanders.gov)



Bernie Sanders Calls for Labeling Genetically Engineered Food

By Reader Supported News | Press Release

19 June 12

 

en. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would let states require that any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients be clearly labeled.

The Vermont Legislature earlier this year considered a bill that would have required labels on foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony from 111 citizens and hundreds more crowded the Statehouse to show their support. Despite passing by a lopsided 9-1 vote in committee, the bill languished after Monsanto threatened to sue the state.

Similar strong-arm tactics by one of the world's leading producers of genetically engineered foods and herbicides have been employed elsewhere by Monsanto, the multi-national company that posted $1.6 billion in profits last year. "It's no mystery why Monsanto would fight people's right to know," Sanders said "Business is booming for the chemical company. Clearly, they have a lot to protect."

The Sanders Amendment, cosponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), acknowledges that states have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering or derived from organisms that have been genetically engineered.

The measure also would require the Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to report to Congress within two years on the percentage of food and beverages in the United States that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

"All over this country, people are becoming more conscious about the foods they are eating and the foods they are serving to their kids, and this is certainly true for genetically engineered foods," Sanders said. "I believe that when a mother goes to the store and purchases food for her child, she has the right to know what she is feeding her child."

In the United States, Sanders said, food labels already must list more than 3,000 ingredients ranging from gluten, aspartame, high-fructose corn syrup, trans-fats or MSG, but not genetically altered ingredients. Around the world, by contrast, 49 countries require labels on foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients.

In the 1990s, there was consensus among scientists and doctors at the FDA that genetically-altered foods could have new and different risks such as hidden allergens, increased plant-toxin levels and the potential to hasten the spread of antibiotic-resistant disease. Those concerns are mounting. In just three days, the American Medical Association will consider resolutions calling for new studies on the impact of genetically-altered foods. The American Public Health Association and the American Nurses Association already passed similar resolutions.

Sanders stressed that labeling genetically-altered foods will not increase costs to shoppers. He also disputed claims that genetically engineered crops are better for the environment. Instead, he said, the use of Monsanto Roundup-ready soybeans engineered to withstand exposure to the herbicide Roundup has caused the spread of Roundup-resistant weeds, which now infest 10 million acres in 22 states with predictions of 40 million acres or more by mid-decade. Resistant weeds increase the use of herbicides and the use of older and more toxic herbicides.

The Sanders Amendment is about allowing states to honor the wishes of their residents and allowing consumers' to know what they're eating. "Monsanto and other major corporations should not get to decide this, the people and their elected representatives should," Sanders said.

 

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+44 # DPM 2012-06-19 20:23
Paid off politicians and judges won't allow us the decency of knowing what we have to eat and drink. Watch closely who votes for what. Remember them. Don't vote for them.
 
 
+11 # John Locke 2012-06-20 05:57
DPM: Yes! That is important, meanwhile Until we stop eating this garbage our health is at risk!
 
 
+42 # Barkingcarpet 2012-06-19 20:39
While we are at it, why don't we label politicians with their partisan beliefs and corporate sponsors?
 
 
+1 # John Locke 2012-06-20 05:56
Barkingcarpet; Your law would never pass the corrupt chambers of Congress, and if it did, it would be the first veto Obama would make...Although the idea is a great one!
 
 
+14 # pernsey 2012-06-19 21:31
I hope this does go through, I dont want to be eating this garbage unknowingly and thinking Im eating healthy. I would rather pay a little more, then eat this poison.

Go Bernie Go!!
 
 
+18 # Old Uncle Dave 2012-06-19 21:33
If GMO products were made illegal would it create a black market for them? "Psst. Wanna buy some mutant soybean oil?" Of course not. It's silly to think that. So what does that tell you? Nobody wants frankenfood!! I'd bet 90% of it is consumed is by people who have no idea they're eating a mutated version of what they think they're eating.
Thank you Bernie, for introducing this amendment. anyone who votes against it is going to look pretty bad to his constituents, saying they don't have a right to know what they're eating.
 
 
+7 # BSMeterMaid 2012-06-19 21:41
Yeah, Bernie, he's been doing a great job for years, but it seems that the press has only caught on in the last year or so.
 
 
+6 # PABLO DIABLO 2012-06-19 22:20
Label politicians --- GREAT IDEA.
 
 
+11 # BeaDeeBunker 2012-06-20 01:31
With the recent articles about GMO products and the influence of Monsanto in affecting world wide concerns, hopefully there is enough push up that proverbial hill to get to the 'tipping point.'

It should be an election year issue point, and again hopefully, once the tipping point is reached and the public becomes fully educated about GM foods and Monsanto's part in it all, the new media will take over, things will go viral, and States like Vermont won't have to worry about corporations interfering with the will of the people.
 
 
+13 # brux 2012-06-20 01:39
this ought to be an issue people can take action on based on knowledge and transparency.

people cannot act intelligently if they cannot tell what they are buying.

the technology of genetic engineering is and will be important, but there are some things that just because we CAN do them does not mean we SHOULD do them, and most GMOs fall in this category to me.

Plus Monsanto has shown bad faith if not crminality in lying to the farmers in Indian and ruining their farms and causing them to commit suicide - that does not show responsibility with this new technology - or a regard for their customers or anyone else. Why should they get special treatment in the marketplace to protect their profits?

label all GMOs.
 
 
+8 # cordleycoit 2012-06-20 02:11
It would be shaming to have this issue get buried in the election year churning of the news cycle. Yet again the real issue is bought and paid for candidates. Monsanto does not care one iota if their product is dangerous, they are only there to make money and use money to own the law. Occupy Monsanto.
 
 
+7 # Ninure 2012-06-20 03:19
What am I missing?

What Conservative value is there being protected in fighting Consumers knowing what they are consuming?
 
 
+12 # Barbara K 2012-06-20 03:49
If they won't stop poisoning our food, the least they can do is warn us. I've been ill for over 2 years with digestive problems, finally it is narrowed down to the food we eat. Money is the only thing these people understand, so let's bring on the class-action lawsuits. It is ridiculous that they are allowed to keep poisoning our food. I read an article where they covered up the fact that cattle are dying from the GE corn in another country. Bet it is being covered up here too. Label it, Hooray for Bernie.
 
 
+4 # Old Man 2012-06-20 07:00
It's about time someone points this out.
Greedy Capitalism is killing the world.
TCGFTS.
 
 
+5 # paulrevere 2012-06-20 07:09
"let states require"...LET! ??...I did read LET??

As much as I revere Sen Sanders, and I do, to not DEMAND that COMPANIES label gmo via a federal rule, law, mandate, whatever clever crapola, lying administrative tool they want to use, is such a typical, soft boiled egg sell job, when real beef is what is necessary, it just illicits my dismay and disgust this continued pussy footing to corportions.

I want double and triple blind decades proven studies on gmo's, of which there are NONE, not some shout into the black hole of states rights where most of the legislatures are already lost to non science thinking.

Quack...quack...quack.
 
 
+12 # jwb110 2012-06-20 08:54
The Chinese have already done studies that show that not the DNA but the RNA from GMOs will slip off and be picked up in the human system. The Monsanto cover-up seems to be only a "free world" phenomenon. South America seems to get it. India is having some really big problems.
Maybe writing directly to food providers and threatening boycotts is an answer? This may be a bottom up issue rather than a top down one. Food and its production is a matter of national security. When the diversity of any element in the chain of that production somes to be dominated by a single industrial giant the whole country is at risk. Pass that position around. Food, water, communications, health care are all matters of National Security and the more completely that debate is framed in that manner the clearer it will become to more of the American Public.
 
 
+2 # carolsj 2012-06-21 11:09
They threatened to sue Vermont? Sue them for what? It was understandable when the beef industry sued Oprah for defamation. How is requiring labeling a sue-able situation? Unless you have something to hide.
 
 
+2 # rockieball 2012-06-22 10:11
I began reading labels when my children were born it surprised the crap out of me. Since that time I have had a backyard garden growing my own food and what I can't buying from local farmers. Don't drink milk, don't drink soda pop. Don't use anything that has HFC in it.May cost me more but it taste better.
 

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