Saturday, May 25, 2013

US Senate Votes Against GMO Labeling


An ABC Poll showed nearly everyone — 93 percent — says the federal government should require labels on food saying whether it's been genetically modified, or "bio-engineered" (this poll used both phrases). And according to the Huffington Post/YouGov survey, 82 percent of Americans think GMO foods should be labeled. With such a vast majority of the United States citizens wanting the GMO foods labeled it would make sense that the folks representing us would require labeling on the foods, correct?

The Senate voted overwhelmingly – 71 to 27 – against an amendment to the sweeping farm bill, squashing a measure that would not have required labeling of genetically modified organisms, but merely would have let states decide if they wanted to require such labeling. Oklahoma’s senators voted against the amendment and the full list can be seen here who voted against it.

“The concept we’re talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the sponsor of the amendment, said shortly before the vote. “All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms.”

Sanders has noted that more than 3,000 ingredients are required to be labeled, but genetically modified ingredients are not part of that list. His state and Connecticut have passed laws to require such labeling, but Sanders said local leaders fear that large biotech corporations such as Monsanto could sue the states on the grounds that they are preempting federal authority. He said his bill would make clear that states can do what they want on the issue.

It is no surprise that over 3/4’s of Americans disapprove of the job that congress is doing on average in a number of recent polls. It also no surprise that 68 percent of Americans believe the federal government has gotten out of control and is threatening the basic civil liberties.

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