Saturday, April 26, 2014

Why Does Tom Colicchio & Food Policy Action Oppose the GM Food Labeling Ban?

John Phillips: Bio-geneticist and nutrition specialist, has found new links between GMO foods and Alzheimer's, liver  & kidney cancers and autism.

Despite Nutrition specialist and biochemist John Phillips linking GMO foods to increased kidney and liver cancers, Alzheimer's disease as well as autism, it appears political pressure in this country is on to keep food consumers in the dark on what they're eating.   This is via a House bill entitled, The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.   Opposing this perfidy is a petition created by food guru Tom Colicchio and Food Policy Action which seeks to convince Congress not to ban GMO labels and has attracted 231,000 signatures in just over a week

Meanwhile, on the side of fortuitous state -level sanity, Vermont lawmakers have just passed legislation that requires all food made with genetically modified organisms or GMOs to be labeled. This marks the first law of its kind in the Neoliberal-dominated U.S. - but it must now get approval from VT. Governor Shumlin though this should not be a problem as he's consistently supported labeling.

Vermont's state House of Representatives approved the bill on Wednesday by a vote of 114- 30 and the State Senate passed it last week by a vote of 28-2.  The law goes into effect July 1, 2016 and will apply to any foods even partially manufactured with genetic engineering. Those tomatoes derived from mouse genes? Yes, they will now have to be properly labeled as "GMO".  Vermont isn't alone here. Despite a range of opinions on the potential threats (or non-threats) posed by the production and consumption of genetically modified foods, most consumers (and several states) already agree to support identifying GMO food as such.

Vermont lawmakers as well as their pro-labeling cohort in other states, therefore, are doing the will of their citizens, as opposed to bending to the Neoliberal food Nazis who want no one to know what the hell they're eating. I suppose they believe that if enough cancers etc, erupt then they can surreptitiously decrease the population and avoid large "entitlement" costs. What the hell else could it be? If these damned foods are so grand, and there's "no difference" from organic or regular sources, why the need to conceal the information?  In every other sphere (caloric content, saturated fats, sugars etc.) food labeling is regarded as an inviolate right of the consumer to know what he's eating. Why not here?

Utterly opposed to this, we have the "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act", introduced April 9 in the House. The label itself is absurd since as Mr. Phillips has shown, GMO foods are not "safe" and the mandate of the "act" is to prevent labeling!  And we need it! As John explains via recent email:

 "Among other toxins and other health-disrupting contaminants, GMO foods contain glyphosate, a horrifically destructive chemical that saps nutrients from foods and quite literally makes them toxic to consume."

Glyphosate, let us note, is not something that can be washed off or taken out of the food by cooking or purification – it’s integrated into the plant on a fundamental level.   Monsanto- the maker-  was also a manufacturer of the pesticide DDT, which now has been conclusively linked to the development of Alzheimer’s, as well as many other degenerative diseases in humans.

Experts like Mr. Phillips now believe that glyphosate is even worse than DDT. It decimates beneficial bacteria in the gut, disrupts immune function, and has been correlated with shocking precision to the rise in autism and other cognitive diseases and conditions.  The moral of the story is that you should stop eating GMO foods at all costs.   The problem is that our Neoliberal bought and sold reps want you to be kept in perpetual ignorance and think the GMO foods are just fine and all is hunky dorey.   Thus, they seek to block these GMO labels on the grounds that they will pose an "undue burden" on producers.   But never mind the undue burden of health care costs - including for cancer treatments, autism and Alzheimer's patient care imposed on you the ordinary citizen. See, in the Neoliberal frame you are expendable! (A painful lesson the Ukrainians will soon learn to their dismay if they are pulled into the Neoliberal orbit. )

Frankly, it's odd that our government, which professes to be so concerned about exploding debt  yet refuses to allow GMO foods to be labeled. This despite the fact that if 25 % of all Americans are affected by Alzheimer's in 20 years we are looking at a $15 trillion health spending calamity.  And then add on to that all the GMO -food consumers who will soon need kidney and liver transplants - adding to lists already tens of thousands long. Doesn't it make more sense, then, to allow GMO labeling so people can choose not to consume these damaging foods - than not to do so and enable massive Alzheimer's disease increases that will sap the Treasury dry? 

Reasonable people would think so - but see, a Neoliberal coercive market isn't reasonable, because it inevitably places corporate profits (like those for Monsanto) over the welfare of people.
If GMO labels are then required they will lose market share because most sensible people will naturally opt for non-GMO foods which don't carry autism, cancer or Alzheimer's risks.  (The trope that labeling itself will drive costs up is blatant balderdash as a number of studies in California have indicated. In fact, the increase per food item is barely 3 cents. It isn't the labeling costs per se the anti-Labelers are worried about, but the costs to them of consumers using their feet to walk elsewhere to buy their produce, etc.)

Meanwhile, Vermont and its lawmakers are putting aside a "war chest" with at least $1.5 million to help the state protect its people as the anti-labeling Neoliberal  predators file lawsuits. Citizens will also be able to contribute voluntarily to the fund and settlements won in other court cases can be added to it by the state attorney general The Burlington Free Press reported.

Two other states, Maine and Connecticut, are the only others to have passed GMO labeling laws though they only go into effect if surrounding states pass similar laws. Vermont's law, by contrast, is a stand alone. Meanwhile, on the international scene GMO labeling is required in 64 countries including the European Union.  Why are we in the U.S. expendable? Because our politicos are bought and paid for whores and they want us to be guinea pigs for this massive food experiment.

Tom Colicchio and Food Policy Action recognize this and merit our signatures on their petition to fight the absurd banning of GMO food labeling.

See also: cineered-foods/8148

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