This blog originally appeared in the Huffington Post 5/29/13
On the Sanders GMO Labeling Amendment Failing in Senate
Last week, as it did last year, the U.S. Senate voted on an amendment supporting the rights of states to enact their own laws requiring the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. The amendment was offered to the Senate Farm Bill by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) but failed 27 to 71.
The failure of this amendment may of course have little impact on the forecasting of the outcome of national GMO labeling efforts now under way in 26 states and in both chambers of Congress. It does however, speak volumes to the little credence now being put on a state's right to self-determination.
The findings section of the amendment stated: "States have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering or derived from organisms that have been genetically engineered."
This statement, of course, would not have changed each state's authority on labeling. States already have all the authority they need to require labeling.
Instead, the amendment sought to reaffirm states' existing authority and quell misleading claims to the contrary. So why did those on the right -- who espouse states' rights, or those on the left who stand for a citizen's right to choose -- vote NO? One can only imagine...
Could it have been that the amendment would have required the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to compile a report for Congress detailing the percentage of foods and beverages sold in America that contain genetically engineered ingredients?
Such a report would have started the process of clearing through the smoke and mirrors, and provided further data showing the extent to which GMOs have invaded our food supply.
Roll Call Vote Count:
YEAs (supported amendment) - 27
NAYs (against amendment) - 71
Not Voting - 2
Image: kzenon / 123RF Stock Photo