• Americans plan huge march against Monsanto even as Congress kowtows to hated corporate leviathan.
By James Spounias —
Republican Congressman from Kansas Mike Pompeo is at it again. Pompeo and G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.), along with nine Republicans and eight Democrats, reintroduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (HR 4432), purportedly to “protect consumers by eliminating confusion and advancing food safety,” according to Pompeo and sponsors.
Instead, critics dubbed Pompeo’s bill the “Deny Americans Right to Know Act” (DARK) charging that not only does the bill keep citizens in the dark about whether foods contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), but also preempts state rights.
Also, Anti-GMO activists warn that Pompeo’s bill would make it illegal for mandatory GMO labeling on federal and state levels and allow companies to label their products as “natural” even if they contain GMO ingredients.
And the bill is said to limit the authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to require companies to disclose GMO ingredients, giving the FDA the option to create a voluntary labeling scheme.
Millions of Americans have requested the FDA exercise its power to mandate GMO labels but, so far, the agency has taken no action. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) introduced bills directing the FDA to exercise its own authority, without success.
States are taking action, though, and that is why Pompeo’s bill is designed to torpedo state efforts.
Pompeo was quoted as saying: “We’ve got a number of states that are attempting to put together a patchwork quilt of food labeling requirements with respect to genetic modification of foods. That makes it enormously difficult to operate a food system. Campaigns in some of these states aren’t really to inform consumers but rather aimed at scaring them. What this bill attempts to do is set a standard.”
Depending on what scientist you recognize as being thorough and honest, you should be scared to discover GMOs are anything but safe, and have been unleashed upon an unsuspecting public in a large, uncontrolled experiment.
Internationally recognized plant expert Dr. Phillip Regal, professor emeritus of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior at the University of Minnesota, stated: “Over the last 15 years, I and other scientists have put the FDA on notice about the potential dangers of genetically [modified] foods. Instead of responsible regulation we have seen bureaucratic bungling and obfuscation that have left public health and the environment at risk.”
Regal is a plaintiff in a suit brought by concerned scientists and consumers against the federal United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for failing to protect public health and provide consumers with relevant information about GM foods
Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the International Center for Technology Assessment (CTA), commenting on the same USDA court action, said: “The USDA has placed the interest of a handful of biotechnology companies ahead of their responsibility to protect public health. By failing to require testing and labeling of genetically [modified] foods, the agency has made consumers unknowing guinea pigs for potentially harmful, unregulated food substances.”
Dr. Jeffrey M. Smith’s Institute for Responsible Technology released a statement saying: “The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) reported that ‘Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,’ including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM asked physicians to advise patients to avoid GM foods.”
Before the FDA and USDA decided to allow GMOs into food without labeling, their own scientists had repeatedly warned that genetically modified (GM) foods can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects, including allergies, toxins, new diseases and nutritional problems. They urged long-term safety studies, but were ignored.
Since then, findings include:
• Thousands of sheep, buffalo and goats in India died after grazing on GM cotton plants;
•Mice eating GM corn for the long term had fewer and smaller babies;
•More than half the babies of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks;
• Testicle cells of mice and rats on GM soy change significantly;
• By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies;
• Rodents fed GM corn and soy showed immune system responses and signs of toxicity;
• Cooked GM soy contains as much as seven times the amount of a known allergen;
• Soy allergies skyrocketed by 50% in the UK soon after GM soy was introduced;
• The stomach lining of rats fed GM potatoes showed excessive cell growth, a condition that may lead to cancer; and
• Studies showed organ lesions, altered liver and pancreas cells, changed enzyme levels etc.
Unlike safety evaluations for drugs, there are no human clinical trials of GM foods. The only published human feeding experiment revealed that the genetic material inserted into GM soy transfers into bacteria living inside our intestines and continues to function. This means that long after we stop eating GM foods, we may still have their GM proteins produced continuously inside us.
Think about this: If the antibiotic gene inserted into most GM crops were to transfer, it could create super diseases, resistant to antibiotics. And, if the gene that creates Bt-toxin in GM corn were to transfer, it might turn our intestinal bacteria into living pesticide factories.
Russian scientists, too, express grave concern about GMO safety. Irina Vladimirovna Ermakova, who is vice president of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, said:
It is necessary to ban GMOs [and] to impose a moratorium [on] it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests—or maybe even new methods of research could be developed.
It has been accepted not only in Russia but also in many other countries in the world that GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage, all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading.
Congressman Pompeo thinks it’s “confusing” for Americans to know if GMOs are in our food, but labeling requirements exist in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Hungary, France, Spain, the UK, Sweden, Italy and Denmark—and their citizens don’t seem in any way confused.
Even China, hardly known for food safety, requires GMO labeling.
Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association explained:
Since 1994, when controversial GE [genetically engineered] foods were forced onto the market, with no labeling nor independent safety testing required, consumers have demanded mandatory labeling of GE foods and food ingredients. After 20 years of waiting for the federal government to heed the people’s will, citizens have begun lobbying in every state and organizing ballot initiatives to pass mandatory GE food labeling at the state level. Vermont passed the nation’s first mandatory labeling law in 2014, prompting Big Food and the chemical industry to try to reverse the law in federal court.
Understanding that they are losing the battle at the state level to keep consumers in the dark about whether or not their food is genetically engineered, Monsanto and its minions are now prepared to abolish consumer choice and overturn state’s constitutional rights so that they can continue to force feed us their GMO foods—foods grown with the toxic chemical glyphosate, which just last week the World Health Organization declared a ‘probable human carcinogen.’
More than 90% of consumers want the same basic right that consumers in more than 60 other countries already have—a simple label stating whether or not a product contains GMOs. Research has shown that GMO labels will not increase food prices, contrary to industry claims. The sole reason to pass this bill is to keep consumers in the dark about what’s in their food.
We must the stop the Pompeo Bill dead in its tracks. This is a fight, not just for consumer rights, but for democracy as well.
The real conversation should be about banning GMO foods and how to re-make a safe food supply and reverse damage to personal health and environment brought on by GMOs. Labeling may or may not rid us of the hazard of Frankenfoods. There is a worldwide protest effort being made on May 23, 2015 called March Against Monsanto.
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James Spounias is the president of Carotec Inc., originally founded by renowned radio show host and alternative health expert Tom Valentine and his wife, Carole. To receive a free issue of Carotec Health Report—a monthly newsletter loaded with well-researched and reliable alternative health information—please write Carotec, P.O. Box 9919, Naples, FL 34101 or call 1-800-522-4279. Also included will be a list of the high-quality health supplements Carotec recommends.
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