House Passes Bill Banning Labeling of GMOs

July 23, 2015   |   Derrick Broze

Derrick Broze
July 23, 2015

(ANTIMEDIAOn Thursday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed a controversial bill that would ban state and local food labeling laws in favor of a federal standard for voluntary labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.

In a vote of 275-150, the House approved House Resolution 1599, known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act to supporters and the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act by critics. Before the bill can become law, it will need to be approved by the Senate and signed by President Obama. AP reports that Senator John Hoeven said he is working on legislation. The White House has not signaled whether or not it will support the bill, but Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has supported GE crops in the past.

After the bill passed, Rep. Mike Pompeo, author of the bill, criticized mandatory labeling laws as unnecessarily costly. “Precisely zero pieces of credible evidence have been presented that foods produced with biotechnology pose any risk to our health and safety,” Pompeo said. “We should not raise prices on consumers based on the wishes of a handful of activists.”

Currently, three states have passed GE labeling bills: Vermont, Maine, and Connecticut. Maine and Connecticut’s laws do not go into effect unless their surrounding neighbor states also pass similar legislation. If the new federal bill becomes law, it will overturn current state laws requiring labeling of GE foods, as well as prevent future labeling laws from being passed at the state or local level.

It’s outrageous that some House lawmakers voted to ignore the wishes of nine out of 10 Americans,” said Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for EWG. “Today’s vote to deny Americans the right to know what’s in their food and how it’s grown was a foregone conclusion. This House was bought and paid for by corporate interests, so it’s no surprise that it passed a bill to block states and the FDA from giving consumers basic information about their food.”

More than 300 organizations, companies, and food industry and social justice leaders oppose the bill. Supporters of labeling laws say consumers have a right to know if their food is genetically engineered. Some critics also fear the increasing use of herbicides and pesticides that results from the proliferation of genetic engineering. The crowds are split between blanket opposition to genetically engineered foods and those calling for more studies to trace the effects of human consumption. Others oppose the GMO industry for limiting research and questionable business practices.

Supporters of the bill say the labels will cause food prices to rise and cause confusion about the safety of GE food. At a recent House committee hearing, Gregory Jaffe, Biotechnology Project Director with the Center for Science in the Public Interest, stated that since there were no known nutritional or safety issues connected to GE food, there should be no need for labels.

Under the bill, the federal government would be given more power to legislate what foods are worthy of labeling and which are not. Not only does this bill fly in the face of state sovereignty, it also further empowers government institutions, which are already in bed with the biotech industry. Currently, companies can choose to voluntarily label their products as “GE Free” or “GMO Free.” They can also seek third-party verification through groups like the Non-GMO Project. If the bill becomes law in its current form, companies wanting to label their food “GMO Free” will have to apply for that status and be certified by the Department of Agriculture. The Food and Drug administration will also create rules on how the word “natural” can be used on food packaging. Overall, this will give more power to the increasingly corrupt government and its corporate partners.

Of course, the solution to this is the same as it has always been: we need to look to our communities and ourselves for solutions. We should strive to support and start farmers’ markets and community gardens and farms. Also, rather than looking to government to help us stay healthy, we should use our power as consumers to only support those business and institutions that align with our morals and principles.

Keep an eye on this bill as it moves to the Senate. Look out for what companies, organizations, and people support taking away your right to know what’s in your food and stop doing business with them. Pressure the companies you do support into voluntarily labeling their products before the government takes away that right. As always, the power lies in the hands of the people.


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Author: Derrick Broze

Derrick Broze joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in July of 2014. His topics of interest include solutions to the police state, the surveillance state, economic inequality, attacks on Native communities, and oppression in all its forms. He was born in Houston, Texas.

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24 Comments

  1. What is wrong with our countries government? When will they listen to the people of this nation !! We must remove the money from politics or we are f@cked.

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  2. The name of this act is very misleading, just looking at it, The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act looks like it would be something good, but it is not. I wonder how many Represenatives actually read the bill or just read the name of the act and assumed it was good and voted for it. Any of them that gets donations from these companies trying to pass this terrible bill needs to recuse themselves from voting on this.

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  3. Well now, Pompeo is one big fat LIAR!!! Imagine him on a slab, about to be given the rites of emminent LIARS like himself. He deserves it!

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  4. most countries have banned the sale of gmo foods. why is our country hiding the fact that our products are made from these chemically altered foods.

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  5. What would you expect from a corrupt govt on both sides of the aisle. When Monsanto pays off govt officials to vote in their favor Its going to happen. Take big corporations and lobbiests out of govt. The poeple they represent mean nothing but dollars do. Corrupt to the core!!!

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  6. Monsanto has the money so why shouldn't they be able to what they want huh that's what happened bet you can check those who voted for the bill were paid off even though bribery of a public official is illegal but somehow it's not

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  7. Guess what? Our hero Hillary…you guessed it! Another ex Monsanto employee! Running for president folks. Think things will get better? Good luck. Try to find a list of former Monsanto employees in our govt. They are in the house, senate, run the FDA, USDA and more….

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  11. We the people need to pay attention, obama is responsible and this is one of many reasons i did not vote for him. The United States Deputy Secretary of Agriculture is the second-highest-ranking official in the United States Department of Agriculture, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. He is former Monsanto head. EPA, and FDA is The "revolving door" – the interplay of personnel that assists the industrial alignment of public service and regulatory authorities – has led to key figures at both the US's FDA and EPA having held important positions at Monsanto, or else doing so shortly after their biotech related regulatory work for the government agency. What did you expect, with this leadership? To late now to get upset

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  12. Bloody politician are elected to protect the public but all the do is f*ck us up…People are dying from cancer cause of all this shit that science introduced in our lives..

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  13. Another unconstitutional law. And odds are the courts will rubber-stamp it anyway.

    You won't find a single line anywhere in the US Constitution that grants the federal government the authority to do this, but you will find quite a bit saying they can't — the tenth amendment, for example.

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  14. There is a reason why Other countries have banned GMO'S, look at the SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE. America is so great huh. Yeah fucking right. We are not truly free, we are controlled by politic and idiots.

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