July 21, 2014

OOPS: Ben & Jerry’s socialist, anti-GMO cofounder inadvertently makes the case for federalism.

A Ben & Jerry’s statement opposing GMOs includes the qualification “Now, we aren’t scientists, we just make ice cream” — that much is apparent.

The company points out that “there are questions about whether GMO technology is truly living up to its promise of making bigger and better food.” While this is true, it speaks more to public confusion about the issue than about the safety of genetically modified food. This confusion will be deepened if government forces manufacturers to “warn” consumers about GM foods that are not, in fact, unhealthy.

I will resist stating that the science on this matter is settled, but a robust academic consensus has emerged about GMOs since their commercial introduction in 1994. The consensus: GM crops are just as healthy as non-GM crops, and in some cases healthier. . . .

In short, Ben, Jerry and all the other anti-GMO activists are wrong on the science.

However, they may also be right to oppose Rep. Pompeo’s bill, which would limit the constitutionally-enshrined authority of the 50 states to do wrongheaded things.

This comment by DeFazio should hit close to home for defenders of federalism and limited government:

“On any other day my Republican colleagues, Mr. Pompeo among them, would say, ‘We’re for states’ rights and we’re for capitalism.’ OK, well, states’ rights would say you’re not going to preempt Vermont or any other state that wants to require just simple disclosure on the label.”

Indeed.