This would be a behind-the-scenes move by Sen. Stabenow. We also discuss GMO corruption of journalists, “Frankenfish” approval, a new Chinese cloning facility, and EPA corruption. Action Alerts!
Rider Will Thwart State GMO Laws
The House of Representatives has approved the so-called “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015,” otherwise known as the “Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act,” introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS). Now, in the Senate, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is working to attach DARK Act-like provisions to the end-of-the-year budget bill. In exchange, companies would develop an alternative, completely voluntary disclosure system, such as scannable codes on food packaging that would tell consumers whether or not the product contains GMOs. This would eliminate state-mandated GMO labeling without even voting on the DARK Act proposal.
If you want to know which foods contain genetically modified organisms, all you need do is bring your own scanner to the store with you! That is, if producers choose to put GMO info into their barcodes on a voluntary basis, which isn’t very likely.
The cynical rationale for this sneaky maneuver is all too apparent. Because the industry is having trouble gaining the political support it needs to pass legislation like the DARK Act, the biotech and Big Food lobbies are urging senators to resort to the familiar tactic of attaching riders (completely unrelated legislation) to must-pass omnibus bills in the hope that the measure will slip by without notice. We saw a similar strategy at work earlier this year when Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) attached anti-supplement amendments to a must-pass national defense bill. It is an especially useful tactic when members of Congress would like to avoid high-profile votes on controversial issues that would upset their constituents.
There’s another reason why industry cannot wait for Congress to approve the DARK Act or similar legislation. Vermont’s landmark GMO labeling legislation takes effect in July 2016. This maneuver is industry’s last hope to kill Vermont’s law before it goes into effect.
GMO Corruption of Journalists
We recently reported that the biotech industry was buying off scientists and mom-bloggers. Unsurprisingly, it appears that freelance journalists and other mainstream media outlets are also on biotech and “Big Farma’s” payroll.
An article in this month’s Columbia Journalism Review probed the question of whether it is ethical for journalists covering GMO issues to accept travel and speaking expenses, as well as other gifts, from the biotech industry. Outlets like the Washington Post, Science, and Nature, the article notes, have recently come under fire for failing to disclose that reporters had some of their expenses paid by industry—charges the media outlets largely dismiss.
The story is a good reminder that the ideal—an objective press that informs the public and speaks truth to power—is very, very far from the crony reality.
GMO “Frankenfish” Heading to Market
Last week the FDA approved a genetically engineered salmon, making it the first GE animal to be approved for human consumption.
The salmon, which we’ve been warning the public about since 2010, is genetically altered so that it grows to market size twice as fast as natural salmon. They start with an Atlantic salmon and implant the Chinook salmon growth hormone gene, plus an antifreeze protein gene from the ocean pout—an eel-like creature from a different family of marine organisms. As with other GMO foods, there is no requirement (nor any likelihood!) that the fish will be labeled as genetically altered.
AquAdvantage, the producer of the GE salmon, first approached the FDA for approval in the 1990s. The FDA has said that the approval process took so long because it was the first approval of its kind.
The approval of the GE salmon will likely lead to the development of more GE animals. The New York Times reports that “there has been a surge in interest in developing new genetically engineered animals and pets because new techniques…allow scientists to edit animal genomes rather than add genes from other species.” Scientists in China, for instance, have created goats with more muscle and longer hair. We can only imagine the variety of GMO animal products that will be hitting stores in the near future.
The salmon is expected to enter the market in about two years, but some major retailers have already pledged not to carry it, including Safeway, Target, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe’s. A complete list of the stores that signed the pledge can be found here.
China to Clone Millions of Animals?
GMO salmon is just the beginning of a dangerous trend in agriculture. China is set to open the world’s largest cloning facility that will be capable of cloning one million calves a year. Proponents of the project hope that it will make the science of cloning more mainstream and acceptable to the public, especially since meat prices in China have tripled between 2000 and 2013.
This follows a recent European Union ban on cloning for food due to high mortality rates of cloned animals, many of which die painfully in the first few weeks of life.
EPA in the Pocket of Monsanto?
Finally, a recent report revealed that the Environmental Protection Agency’s determination that glyphosate is not an endocrine disruptor—a finding that flies in the face of a decade of scientific studies which demonstrate the herbicide’s toxicity to mammals—was based almost entirely on industry-backed studies.
The EPA’s review relied on thirty-two studies, twenty-seven of which were either conducted or funded by the biotech industry. Now that the EPA has made its determination, no further safety tests of glyphosate’s effect on the endocrine system will be required.
Of the five that were independently funded, three found evidence that glyphosate, marketed worldwide by Monsanto as Roundup, could indeed harm the endocrine system!
Even more troubling is the fact that endocrine disruption is far from the only hazard that glyphosate poses to human health. Stephanie Seneff, PhD, noted a few years ago that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity—and the skyrocketing rates of autism are also remarkably consistent with the increasing use of Roundup on US crops. And perhaps most importantly, the World Health Organization concluded that glyphosate was a “probable carcinogen” earlier this year. So why in the world is the EPA doing the bidding of Monsanto and the biotech industry?
There is also evidence that glyphosate severely impairs mitochondrial function. For more on that, watch our new video, GMOs Are 125 Times More Deadly Than Previously Thought.
TWO Action Alerts!
1. Write to your senators and urge them to oppose Sen. Stabenow’s dangerous rider if it comes up in the omnibus budget bill.
2. Send a message to urge major supermarket chains that haven’t signed the “No Frankenfish Pledge”—chains like Walmart and Public—to do so immediately.
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11 thoughts on “Plan for an End Run around GMO Labeling ”
Tell this Hack Senator Stabenow dumb azz democrat to leave this DARK BILL alone let it pass or fail on it own merit. This bullshit that all these hack politicians have of multi attaching bills to one another is absolute Bullshit. If the Hacks that submit a ridiculous bill attach it to something that is good and the good bill drives the passing of a Bill that’s no worth a damn this shouldn’t be allowed. We just have WAY NO MUCH FRICKEN GOVERNMENT. FULL DISCLOSURE OF ALL FOODS IS A MUST. GMO MUST BE BANNED.
There is no good bill that comes out of the U.S., destroy it all. Nuke d.c. and chuckle. Kill every single U.S. politician and anyone who sides with them or defends them! Start learning russian and mandarin, because the U.S. already lost the next world war. F the U.S with absolute destruction. F every single politician and CEO, F the banks, F the corporations, F society and F anyone who doesn’t agree! Side with life or PERISH!
Where’s the flag for advocating violence? But I forgive you, @RealityOfTruth, because I have that kind of emotional reaction as a sort of warning, along with the mouth and tongue ulcers, before the massive indigestion from inadvertently ingesting “Roundup-Ready” grain sets in. May you find healing.
I really wish I could be positive about the situation but my emotion comes from being directly connected to the ki flow of the planet so my whailing is the planets whailing. Imagine if someone was murdering your offspring every day for your entire life, every second. You’d probably be screaming obscenities as well. But of course, in this PC world everyone whines about anything offensive so even thoughts are deemed dangerous and I don’t really care which is why I do and say what I want. I don’t want to be here anyway, I have no future, I can never have a family, I can never have a life. So I will do as I please until I die!
I’m blessed with a safe, private place to howl obscenities in–sometimes I do still feel the need. I suspect you’re about the age and physical condition I was in (twenty-something) when I was making life plans based on a belief that I couldn’t have a future life, would never be forty…and that was one of my bigger mistakes. (Even then I knew that sterility didn’t have to keep me from having a family, I just expected to die before my much older husband did.) So please know that it’s a mood, even if it’s one that sweeps over the planet at times, and will pass. You can still eat around the GMOs. You can still have at least some future, who knows how long, but it might as well be good. But if you go around advocating violence, some fool is likely to go out and *do* the violence–and blame you. Better to stick to plain statements about how you feel and why.
Okay, the U.S. poisons all life, betrays what provides its existence and thus doesn’t deserve to exist, by life’s standards. Not mine. They poison me, my family and all that I love and cherish and I believe in self defense above all else.
I don’t think that is true. Not everyone does what Not Barry and the Liberal clowns say for them to do. They are not even on the need-to-know list for a whole lot of things pertaining to the military and our preparedness. We haven’t lost anything yet. The pendulum always swings back the other way and the liberal twats always get smacked back hard when it does, their nonsense isn’t sustainable. While it is true that the general public were very complacent and lulled asleep by these douche wads, that is no longer true and the liberal brain washing of our kids in schools only lasts till they try to find a job when they get out. This latest bunch will find the instigators of all the trouble don’t have to worry about jobs, their families have money. They will also have a huge debt for school that taught them a useless bunch of communist crap instead of preparing them for a job. They will have posted all that screaming I’m-so-offended junk on their Facebook pages, so they won’t be able to buy a job to save their life, nobody wants that kind of trouble maker in their business. Also, FYI, we are one of the top oil producers in the world, so we really don’t need to go to war for access to the oil from other countries, that is a myth.
Yeah, it was really just for petty revenge by the Bush’s against Sadam. The oil was just their and halliburton/cheney’s cherry on top, I suppose.
Anyone who sides with biotech will be incinerated into ashes, compressed into toys and sent to be played with and broken by chinese children.
Anyone. The U.S. is going to be obliterated and no crook can stop it, not monsanto, not the fake president, nobody. DEATH TO THE US!
@everybody…If you found this page because you’ve become ill after eating GMO food, probably without knowing it…we need to lean on the food manufacturers as well as the legislators. Try the corporate web sites for food you ate. Let companies like Ben & Jerry’s, Zatarain’s, ConAgra, my old favorite Success Rice, etc., know it if GMO cornstarch in your vegetable soup or chocolate bar made you sick. Let’em know you won’t be able to eat their products unless or until they’re able to label some of their products “Verified GMO-Free.”
I let them know by never purchasing their products ever again and insulting anyone who does, as well as talking down the company and anyone associated. Boycott! They don’t care about our words, they only care about the value-less currency that humans made the f up. (Which is really lame, when you think about it…and I have plenty of time to think)