Today, Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) is set to introduce a bill that would preempt state mandatory GMO labeling efforts. The bill, strongly backed by The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), Monsanto and the Koch brothers, would give ultimate authority of the issue over to the FDA. This is concerning because the FDA favors a voluntary approach to the extremely controversial issue. The FDA also tends to side with biotech on the GMO issue. If this bill comes to pass, where does that leave the public’s demand for the right to know what is in their food? Image credit: politicalblindspot.com
Thankfully, pro-GMO labeling groups are determined to keep lawmakers from backing the Pompeo bill. Groups including Just Label It stormed over a hundred offices on Capitol Hill earlier this week and campaigned for two other initiatives that would instead demand mandatory food labeling. The bills, HR 1699 and S 809, were introduced last April by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) respectively.
Monsanto and other biotech corporations have vehemently fought labeling efforts in many states including 2012′s Prop 37
in California and last year’s I-522
In biotech’s latest efforts to stifle the peoples’s right to know, Monsanto has threatened to sue the entire state of Vermont over a proposed GMO labeling bill. The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is stalling in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote for fear of Monsanto’s threats.