In yet another blatant show of support for Monsanto, members of the U.S House Committee on Agriculture signed off on a bill intended to permanently shut down the GMO labeling movement.
The Committee took only 17 minutes to push H.R. 1599 toward a full House vote, expected to take place early next week. Members justified their votes on the basis of lies. Official statements issued by Committee Chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) were disingenuously crafted to make consumers think the purpose of this bill, the “Mother of All Monsanto Protection Acts,” is to give consumers what they want—labels on foods containing GMOs.
Consumers increasingly want to know more about where their food comes from and how it is produced. I think H.R. 1599 satisfies that demand while also recognizing what we know about the safety of the foods that our farmers produce.
H.R. 1599 doesn’t come close to satisfying consumer demand for labeling. It creates the framework for a government-run voluntary labeling scheme, while shutting down states’ rights to require mandatory labeling. Who in their right mind believes that corporations that spent hundreds of millions of dollars to keep labels off their GMO foods are suddenly going to voluntarily label them after this bill passes?
Conaway’s and Peterson’s statements perpetuated the lie that GMOs have been thoroughly tested and proven safe. And the issue of Monsanto’s glyphosate, the toxic chemical used on more than 80 percent of GMO foods, being officially classified as probably cancerous to humans? Barely mentioned.