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Democracy in action

#1 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 10:53

Got this in my mailbox this morning. It's part of a much longer email asking me to phone or email my congressman, since I don't have one I edited all that out.I also highlighted the one I see as most frightening

On Tuesday, the US House Agriculture committee passed HR 1599, which has been dubbed the “Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK)” Act. Next week, it will go to the House floor for a vote.

This bill would:

Nullify democratically passed state laws that mandate the labeling of GMO foods;
Make it impossible for the FDA to implement mandatory nationwide GMO labeling;
Bar states and localities from restricting the growing of GMO crops in any way; and
Declare it legitimate and legal to label GMOs as “natural”.


More than 90% of Americans support mandatory GMO labeling. Three US states have passed mandatory labeling laws, and efforts are underway to pass them in dozens more. So far, ten US counties have banned GMO cultivation - with many more on the horizon.

It would seem that this new law would nullify all of that. I also have got to wonder about laws regarding freedom of information to say nothing about truth in labelling as well as unfair competition. Microsoft got nailed for much less egregious ambitions. So much for power to/of the people, if this goes through.
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#2 User is offline   mikeh 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 11:56

I have no idea what effect the suggested legislation would actually have, but I do know enough about how zealots frame actions with which they are unhappy that I can at least contemplate that the email you got was, shall we say, less than objectively accurate.

Let's start with the assertion that the resolution has been 'dubbed' Deny Americans the Right to Know.

Who dubbed it that? Was it, by chance, an organization or person who has a direct interest in opposing the resolution, and who came up with that name not because it is accurate but because it is scary?

Now we move to the notion that there is something undemocratic about overriding State laws.

Hmm.....sounds like the usual stuff from US politicians and 'activists' of any stripe when one body, exercising its constitutional authority, prevents another body (or group of people) from acting as they see fit.

Many US States had 'democratically' enacted racial and sexual discrimination built into their laws and practices. The US Congress did away with many of that sort of thing in the 1960's with broad legislation on racial matters. Many of the opponents of that, and opponents these days of same-sex rights, argue that the states laws were democratically adopted and that the Feds, or the SCOTUS, has no right to abolish them.

So here, we are told, democratically elected members of the US House of Representatives may be about to enact a law that modifies or abolishes laws enacted by states...funny how activists claim that the laws they support are democratic but don't admit that the laws they don't like are also democratic :P

Of course, this harkens back to the underlying 'debate' about GMOs, which has been done to the point of boredom, and beyond, here and elsewhere. So much woo and superstition and fear and ignorance :P

May I suggest that you at least try to recognize blatant manipulation when it stares you in the face, as it does from the email you cite?
'one of the great markers of the advance of human kindness is the howls you will hear from the Men of God' Johann Hari
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#3 User is offline   billw55 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 12:28

I believe there is sufficient evidence that GMO foods are safe.

If labeling is such a big deal for consumers, let non-GMO food producers label their products as such. Same choice, without the scare campaign.
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#4 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 13:03

Such an interesting assortment of statements.. are you really truly trying to equate the ability to put limits on a technology proven to be NOT TRUE in ANY of the claims made for it are the same as laws allowing slavery?

An interesting idea to be sure, especially when the rules regarding the right to grow crops would in effect reduce farmers to the status of serfs to the chemical companies. The laws enacted already across various countries limit or disallow farmers from saving seed, which even the midieval serfs were allowed to do, so less freedom than in midieval times, such an astounding situation for a supposedly advanced and democratic society! This is only an extension of such erosion of freedom to choose, not only what a farmer will grow and how, but of the consumer to know what he or she is putting into his or her body, and more importantly perhaps, what is going into their child's body.

This doesn't even touch on the thousands of acres of land being desertified by GMO monocropping, the environmental costs, none of which are being borne by the chemical companies, nor the thousands of acres of productive farmland going out of production as a direct result of weeds, specifically amaranth, becoming quite happy to grow in RoundUp soaked land and covering former farmland with unmanageable weeds, which one USDA official said, was best pulled by hand for effective removal. Which, of course,Monsanto assured government officials could not happen when first seeking approval for such chemical agriculture.

Just how taking thousands of acres of productive farmland ( by USDA figures) OUT of production as a direct result of using chemical monocropping is supposed to help feed a growing population Monsanto has not explained. It certainly DOES explain why they want no controls on their techniques though, which only involve using more and more lethal poisons, none of which have been shown to be safe for human consumption over time. In fact many of the chemicals used are based on those used in war to kill people. Since people probably don't want to eat that, then put in a law giving them no choice, allow the chemical companies to hide what is in the food. At least tobacco is a choice. If GMOs are so great, then treat them as governments treat tobacco, label them and let people choose to eat them as they choose to smoke cigarettes. If they choose not to, why should they be forced to do so? What possible definition of freedom do you adhere to that includes the enforced ingestion of poison by the general public?

Ignorance indeed about GMOs, why won't Monsanto allow independant scientists free access to study their products? What are they afraid of? That even all their money will not be able to tarnish all the scientists and their findings sufficiently with lies and slander so as to buy their way into global control of all food supplies? (legally or otherwise, Monsanto has been proven to be quite happy to flout the law when it suits them, including bribery, and to lie as a matter of course if the truth will hurt their bottom line. )

All this law addresses is the prevention of people having a choice. What else is freedom about?
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#5 User is offline   PassedOut 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 13:59

View Postbillw55, on 2015-July-17, 12:28, said:

I believe there is sufficient evidence that GMO foods are safe.

If labeling is such a big deal for consumers, let non-GMO food producers label their products as such. Same choice, without the scare campaign.

Maybe so, but it seems to me that folks should be entitled to know exactly what they are buying. I don't see any reasonable argument against truthful labeling requirements. What harm could it cause?
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#6 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 18:12

There is also the question as to why the producers of food produced naturally should bear the cost of labelling. If someone wants to go to extraordinary lengths to produce "food" in a totally different way then why should they not be proud to say so, and bear the costs of labelling and advertising it as such?
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#7 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 18:21

View Postbillw55, on 2015-July-17, 12:28, said:

I believe there is sufficient evidence that GMO foods are safe.



I disagree with you but defend your right to think so and to access such food if someone chooses to grow it. The question is, would you do the same for me?
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#8 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 18:56

Given that all food, I mean all, has been genetically modified I don't see any harm to not label all food as such.

IN addition if there is any evidence that at some point humans have some how modified what we eat over the eons, that should be labeled.
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#9 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-July-17, 18:59

View Postonoway, on 2015-July-17, 18:12, said:

There is also the question as to why the producers of food produced naturally should bear the cost of labelling. If someone wants to go to extraordinary lengths to produce "food" in a totally different way then why should they not be proud to say so, and bear the costs of labelling and advertising it as such?



Again just to repeat all food modified by humans is natural. What humans create or destroy is an act of nature, natural. It is as natural as food modified by planet earth, the stars or other animals or plants.

For some reason people think food modified by humans is NOT an act of nature, perhaps even supernatural outside the laws of nature.

As I have mentioned before one thing to be concerned over is the factor "time"
Something created today; something has not been tested for safety by "time"

I would be in favor of labels that stated this food has not been tested over eons of time.
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#10 User is offline   Gerben42 

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Posted 2015-July-18, 05:09

If you think that your non-GMO biologically acceptable grain for your bread, milk cow for your cheese and sheep for your nice sweater, or your pet, have ever existed in this way in nature, think again. Most of it couldn't even survive on their own.

About EVERYTHING we eat and use is genetically modified. This has been the case for hundreds if not thousands of years. Alternatively, you could try hunting and gathering again.
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#11 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-July-18, 11:36

I glanced at the bill at congress.gov. I think what it basically does is authorize the FDA to determine which GMO foods are safe and which need to be labeled, and preempts state laws that require such labeling. So basically we'll have uniform standards about which GMO foods are considered safe, as opposed to a blanket rule that all GMO foods must be labeled.

BTW, the official name of the bill is the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015".

#12 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2015-July-19, 13:49

View Postmike777, on 2015-July-17, 18:59, said:

Again just to repeat all food modified by humans is natural. What humans create or destroy is an act of nature, natural. It is as natural as food modified by planet earth, the stars or other animals or plants.

For some reason people think food modified by humans is NOT an act of nature, perhaps even supernatural outside the laws of nature.

As I have mentioned before one thing to be concerned over is the factor "time"
Something created today; something has not been tested for safety by "time"

I would be in favor of labels that stated this food has not been tested over eons of time.


Mike ( and Gerben42 ) you simply don't recognize the difference between genetic modification done with genes which are to some degree compatible to each other and those imposed with a deal of effort and failure on genes totally incompatible with each other, or the imposition of genes which allow the organism to take up poisons which disrupt or destroy hormonal and endocrine systems which are then passed on to us in the food..and not only expecting it to have no effect on us, but actively disallowing any research to see if that is a valid assumption. Perhaps you don't mind eating minute quantities of poison daily, there are others who would prefer to have the choice not to, and certainly not to feed it to their children.

During World War One people were told to eat rhubarb leaves as a substitute for other unavailable greens. After causing several deaths, they are now considered toxic. People are warned to somewhat limit their daily intake of such things as spinach which naturally has oxalic acid, because although it is also highly nutritious, how much the body can cope with (especially raw) without causing health issues is unknown.

Yet on a daily basis we are taking in substances embedded in the food which were adapted from chemicals whose only purpose was to kill humans, which are in their present form also proven to be poisonous even by the FDA. Perhaps this makes sense to you, it doesn't to many of the rest of us.
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#13 User is offline   onoway 

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Posted 2015-July-19, 14:08

View Postbarmar, on 2015-July-18, 11:36, said:

I glanced at the bill at congress.gov. I think what it basically does is authorize the FDA to determine which GMO foods are safe and which need to be labeled, and preempts state laws that require such labeling. So basically we'll have uniform standards about which GMO foods are considered safe, as opposed to a blanket rule that all GMO foods must be labeled.

BTW, the official name of the bill is the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015".

I am not a lawyer, so don't pretend to know the ins and outs, but will take the word of a group of lawyers who think it goes well beyond that. It also begs the question as to how a food is to be considered safe if no independent research is permitted, only that provided by the companies which stand to profit? This has been the rule so far, without any iota of evidence that that is about to change.
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#14 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2015-July-19, 15:22

I don't if the government actually proposes to limit research in this law, or what their reasons for limiting it would be, but unless the research violates the zero aggression principle, IMO the government has no business regulating it at all.
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#15 User is offline   mike777 

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Posted 2015-July-20, 00:27

View Postonoway, on 2015-July-19, 13:49, said:

Mike ( and Gerben42 ) you simply don't recognize the difference between genetic modification done with genes which are to some degree compatible to each other and those imposed with a deal of effort and failure on genes totally incompatible with each other, or the imposition of genes which allow the organism to take up poisons which disrupt or destroy hormonal and endocrine systems which are then passed on to us in the food..and not only expecting it to have no effect on us, but actively disallowing any research to see if that is a valid assumption. Perhaps you don't mind eating minute quantities of poison daily, there are others who would prefer to have the choice not to, and certainly not to feed it to their children.

During World War One people were told to eat rhubarb leaves as a substitute for other unavailable greens. After causing several deaths, they are now considered toxic. People are warned to somewhat limit their daily intake of such things as spinach which naturally has oxalic acid, because although it is also highly nutritious, how much the body can cope with (especially raw) without causing health issues is unknown.

Yet on a daily basis we are taking in substances embedded in the food which were adapted from chemicals whose only purpose was to kill humans, which are in their present form also proven to be poisonous even by the FDA. Perhaps this makes sense to you, it doesn't to many of the rest of us.


Just for the record

ok I go out on a limb but count me against chemicals whose only purpose is to kill humans. I understand many posters will disagree with me...so be it.

I note the chemical h20 KILLS...KILLS MANY OVER THE YEARS
yET oNOWAY YOU REFUSE TO LABEL IT AS A KILLER, kILLER

I understand many want these chemicals to deter you and they may have a point.
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With all of the above points...please note you still do not agree do not agree that all foods are modified. you deny my main point./ We both agree that any any foods modified over the eons should be labeled as such.
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#16 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2015-July-20, 06:27

We always seem to learn the hard way.

Why so many cases of peanut-allergy/ADD/you-name-it? Over-crowding? Aspartame? Fetal sonograms? GMOs?

At some point, epidemiologists will get around to finding correlations and perhaps even causal links.

Meanwhile, somebody wins and somebody loses.

Same old, same old.
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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#17 User is offline   barmar 

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Posted 2015-July-20, 09:24

View Postblackshoe, on 2015-July-19, 15:22, said:

I don't if the government actually proposes to limit research in this law, or what their reasons for limiting it would be, but unless the research violates the zero aggression principle, IMO the government has no business regulating it at all.

Do you also think the FDA has no business regulating drugs?

What do you think the role of the FDA is? I think they exist to try to protect the health of citizens. They can prohibit foods and drugs that are deemed to be unsafe, and require labeling in cases where the information is beneficial to the consumers (e.g. drug side effects).

#18 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2015-July-20, 15:30

Peanut allergies are caused by global warming. B-)
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#19 User is offline   blackshoe 

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Posted 2015-July-20, 15:35

View Postbarmar, on 2015-July-20, 09:24, said:

Do you also think the FDA has no business regulating drugs?

What do you think the role of the FDA is? I think they exist to try to protect the health of citizens. They can prohibit foods and drugs that are deemed to be unsafe, and require labeling in cases where the information is beneficial to the consumers (e.g. drug side effects).

I think the government has no business regulating drugs. Drug regulation is a large part of the reason why it costs so very much to develop a new drug and also part of why it's so lucrative to do so.
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#20 User is offline   Al_U_Card 

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Posted 2015-July-20, 16:22

View Postblackshoe, on 2015-July-20, 15:30, said:

Peanut allergies are caused by global warming. B-)

Yes indeed. EVERYTHING is a sign of CAGW. (But mostly grant requests...)
The Grand Design, reflected in the face of Chaos...it's a fluke!
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