The Alliance For Natural Health

Why Is Big Biotech Now Supporting a National GMO “Labeling” Law?

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HiResCould it be because they are worried about real labeling laws at the state level? Urgent Action Alert!

In November, we told you about the House and Senate conference committee to reconcile two wildly different Farm Bills and fill a $36 billion gap between them. We’ve received word that the committee is likely to complete its work by the end of the month, immediately after which the final bill would be released.

The House version of the Farm Bill still includes the destructive and possibly unconstitutional King Amendment (a.k.a. the Interstate Commerce Amendment), which could undo state-level GMO labeling and animal rights laws—even those that have already been passed. On a more positive note, it also includes Section 11321, which protects small farmers from burdensome FDA regulations. The Senate version of the bill has neither of these provisions. We need for the final, reconciled bill to have Section 11321, but not the King Amendment.

Even worse, the House bill contains Section 1613, which would prevent any agency from disclosing any “information provided by a producer or owner of agricultural land concerning the agricultural operation.” Forget the absurdly broad language—this would make it illegal to report, for example, where GMO crops are planted, or where cross-contamination has occurred. The public would be kept in the dark about any number of vital issues. What about livestock disease outbreak? Antibiotic abuse in farm animals? The possibilities are endless. Big Ag wants blanket immunity, and this amendment is a big fat gift to them—possibly at the expense of your health and safety.

Once the Farm Bill is released, it’s “game over”—this is our last chance to make our voices heard. When the Farm Bill leaves the conference committee, it will go straight to both chambers for an “up or down” vote. Since no amendments can be added to a conference bill and leaders of both parties will push their caucuses to vote “yea,” it’s certain the conference bill will be passed as is.

Thanks to your activism—the thousands of messages you sent your legislators, and the way you spread the word to friends and fellow activists—the movement to strike the King Amendment has gained considerable momentum. Thank you. In addition, for the past two months, ANH-USA has been active behind the scenes on Capitol Hill (working as part of a coalition led by the Humane Society to strike the King Amendment). We want to make sure the Farm Bill that finally gets passed will be a positive for the natural health community.

It’s vital that we defeat the King Amendment—it’s just the beginning of a deceptive new strategy by Monsanto and Big Food to defeat GMO labeling by appearing to champion national GMO legislation.

It would sound bizarre elsewhere, but it’s par for the course on Capitol Hill. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (yes, the same group that illegally spent $11 million to defeat Washington State’s GMO labeling initiative) recently proposed a federal GMO labeling law. Importantly, GMA’s legislation would only require voluntary labeling—Monsanto and other producers would not have to label GMOs. The point of passing such weak “GMO labeling” legislation isn’t to implement GMO labeling—it’s to prevent state governments from doing so themselves, because state laws would actually require labels! Like the King amendment, the GMA’s bill is intended to preempt every single hard-won state GMO labeling bill, including Maine’s, which was just signed into law last Thursday. ANH-USA provided the draft language for the Maine law and worked with state legislators to fine-tune the bill.

Between the King Amendment and the GMA’s dangerous new legislation, it’s clear that the fight for GMO labeling has just begun: more legislative battles are looming on the horizon. But we can take some comfort from the fact that Big Biotech is only offering voluntary GMO labeling because of the progress we have made to date. Big Biotech is clearly worried about all the money they have had to spend to win referenda, and even more worried that, in the future, they will lose no matter how many millions they dump into the battle. Consumers can win this struggle. All we have to do is persevere and pour on the pressure.

We have a copy of the GMA strategy and there have been discussions about it on the Hill, but the bill has not yet been formally introduced. ANH-USA is meeting with congressional leaders now and together we’re working through the best approach, and we’ll let you know the moment it’s appropriate to take action. For now, we’re asking you to focus on the Farm Bill. Urgent Action Alert! Ask Congress to throw out the King amendment and keep Section 11321! Even if you have already done so, please contact your legislators again—help us stand up for small farmers and GMO labeling activists. Please take action immediately!

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21 Comments

  1. Michael J Dorning on

    IA Rep Steve King is a wholly owned subsidiary of Big Pharma and Big Chemical. He consistently brings forth laws and amendments friendly to anti-American interests.

  2. I am dismayed by the tacktics of Pharma, big agriculture and Monsanto. Is it really possible that a legislator would even listen to these groups? Does an individual citizen have to ‘make his/her voice known? I guess so… Representative government is supposed to make devious acts inefective—intelligent legislators must be able to ‘see-through’ things like the ‘King ammendment.’ I guess it is the money again that is doing the real talking. No wonder that my opinion of Washington establishment falls with each passing year. Someday………..
    But enough of all that….you know what you should do….do it!!!!

  3. I am dismayed by the tacktics of Pharma, big agriculture and Monsanto. Is it really possible that a legislator would even listen to these groups? Does an individual citizen have to ‘make his/her voice known? I guess so… Representative government is supposed to make devious acts inefective—intelligent legislators must be able to ’see-through’ things like the ‘King ammendment.’ I guess it is the money again that is doing the real talking. No wonder that my opinion of Washington establishment falls with each passing year. Someday………..
    But enough of all that….you know what you should do….do it!!!!

  4. Herbert Cortes on

    HI,
    Im clicking on the take action and it seems the link is broken. Maybe something on your side or external. Can you indicate how to follow up.

    Herbert
    ph 631 569 0365

    • Hi Herbert–Thanks for letting us know! Others have been experiencing this problem, too. Could you please email me at [email protected] w/what browser (e.g. Chrome, FireFox, Safari) you were using when you tried to click on the link? Thanks!

  5. sally patterson on

    Yahoo can’t find this page when I hit the Take Action! button. Why do you suppose that is? This has happened a number of times when I want to go on record in petitions and surveys with my liberal bias. Who’s cutting the links to the sites that can record the voting public’s views? Some thing smells in Denmark.

    • Hi Sally–Thanks for letting us know! Others have been experiencing this problem, too. Could you please email me at [email protected] w/what browser (e.g. Chrome, FireFox, Safari) you were using when you tried to click on the link? Thanks!

  6. How can there be any question that the GMO issue is something that every American, or, for that matter, person would not want to know how their food is being manufactured. and what potential dangers there might be in consuming any product. I can’t imagine that the Officials in charge of GMO related agriculture would willing and knowingly consume these altered food products over certified organic products. Even Costco is bring more and more Organic products into their stores and quess what? They sell.

  7. Please throw out the King amendment and keep Sec. 11321 and support mandatory GMO labelling.

  8. we need to rally ’round …. circle the wagons! Seems, that on a bloody revolution can stop all this nonsense …. like our forefathers …. starting over ? could this be the answer? If a real ‘fight’ is not put up – then how will the minorities fare? Fighting, always fighting – and for what – For What Is Right – that’s what. How about continual prayer – everyone of ‘like-mind’ coming together with prayer (what ever your method of praying) … our thoughts are powerful, unspoken – the total all over ‘feeling’ could possibly overwhelm the ‘bad’ ? $$$ – the root of all evil – no truer words were ever spoken.

  9. Hmm. It appears as though I am being blocked from reading and adding my name to the letter concerning GMO labeling. I can’t say that I am surprised. Things have gone well beyond ridiculous and are pretty damned disgraceful with this federal government of ours.

    • Hi Joe–Thanks for letting us know! Others have been experiencing this problem, too. Could you please email me at [email protected] w/what browser (e.g. Chrome, FireFox, Safari) you were using when you tried to click on the link? Thanks!

  10. As a housewife and cook for my family, I want to know exactly was is in the groceries on the shelves. We need a real GMO labeling system. Also we need to eliminate the meaningless label “natural” which has no definition in law. I want organic to mean organic, unchanged by genetic manipulation, free of chemical additions either in farming or in processing.

  11. Currently the “take action” button won’t connect – it flashes on the screen and then Yahoo says it can’t find the address.

    • Hi Marti–Thanks for letting us know! Others have been experiencing this problem, too. Could you please email me at [email protected] w/what browser (e.g. Chrome, FireFox, Safari) you were using when you tried to click on the link? Thanks!

  12. Continue the fight! Monsanto and big agro dont care about the people they only care about profits. keep the message strong keep the message going

  13. I hate Monsanto and all those BIG AGRI and BIG PHARMA businesses! They’re trying my patience! I had no problems filling out this form using Firefox. I have a feeling that IE might be the problem but I dunno for sure!

    Keep up the great work ANH!

  14. GMOs are not intrinsically good or bad, but they need to be controlled similarly to how new drugs are. It isn’t a black and white issue. Consider if some company were able to genetically modify roses (or any commercial crop) so that they were insect and fungus proof. Think of how many zillions of gallons of insecticides and fungicides that would no longer be introduced into the environment and, possibly, into our bodies. Until GMO crops and animals are Federally controlled, similar to proposed medicines, I think GMO labeling should be Federally required.
    Many countries are experimenting with developing GMO crops (including animals). The Chinese have been experimenting with GMO rice for several years. I have read that they have developed a strain of rice that is practically both insect and fungus free. That not only eliminates the use of insecticides and fungicides but, also, increases the crop yield. It hasn’t yet been released for commercial use because of concerns about cross pollination, etc. White rice, which around 1/3 of the world’s population has as their primary food, is short in both Vitamin A and iron. Inadequate intake of either nutrient is damaging to health. The Chinese are using GMO to develop strains with more of these nutrients.
    Fear is not a good basis for making most decisions, however, GMOs require comprehensive Federal evaluation and regulation.
    Do you know that, if aspirin were being introduced as a new medication today, it could not be sold OTC (Over The Counter)? Purchasing it would require a doctor’s prescription.