The nannies at the Agriculture Department will now certify your food is free from genetically modified ingredients should a manufacturer want their product labeled as such.
“Certification would be voluntary — and companies would have to pay for it. If approved, the foods would be able to carry a ‘USDA Process Verified’ label along with a claim that they are free of GMOs.”
The food labeling battle has continued to grow over the last few years. On the one hand, several states have passed laws or will have measures on their ballots that would mandate GMO food be identified with a label. On the other, is the Big Agra industry, which is concerned its bottom line will be affected if their food is given a scary label like “genetically modified.”
In order to pre-empt the state laws, the fedgov backed by Big Agra payola is trying to find some kind of workaround. “Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack outlined the department’s plan in a May 1 letter to employees, saying the certification was being done at the request of a ‘leading global company,’ which he did not identify. A copy of the letter was obtained by The Associated Press.”
“Recently, a leading global company asked AMS to help verify that the corn and soybeans it uses in its products are not genetically engineered so that the company could label the products as such,” Vilsack wrote in the letter. “AMS worked with the company to develop testing and verification processes to verify the non-GE claim.”
The AMS is the Agriculture Marketing Service. Yes, that’s a thing: the Department of Agriculture has a marketing department.
Some food products already have a non-GMO label without the government’s interference. “Many companies use a private label developed by a nonprofit called the Non-GMO Project.” Apparently that is not sufficient. Enter the government.
Nanny Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has introduced a bill that would crush the state effort to have mandatory GMO labels. “The USDA label is similar to what is proposed in a GOP House bill introduced earlier this year that is designed to block mandatory GMO labeling efforts around the country. The bill, introduced earlier this year by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., provides for USDA certification but would not make it mandatory. The bill also would override any state laws that require the labeling.”
What people chose to eat and feed their family is an intensely personal issue. The food labeling battle is simply a reflection of a disturbing trend to have the government regulate or get involved in even the most personal and private life choices. We have the anti-GMO crowd, on one side, who are lobbying state governments to force a GMO label on food companies; and on the other side, the corporate interests that are fighting back against a predicted hit to their bottom line.
How about no mandatory labels at all? The free market has already taken care of this issue; it’s easier than ever to purchase food that comes from your preferred source, whether that source is Big Agra at your local grocery chain or organic food from Whole Foods or any number of stores that offer organic food choices including farmer’s markets. (The government, however, doesn’t want you buying food directly from small farms, but that’s a story for another day.)
This is how the government Leviathan is born: big-government Democrats use the power of the state to force regulations on businesses, and big government Republicans use the force of government to protect those businesses from such regulations. Either way, we are left with big government.