Monsanto lobbies to kill GMO labeling law

An amendment inserted into the 2013 Farm Bill passed by the House of Representatives’ Agriculture Committee earlier this month would revoke the ability of individual states’ lawmakers to pass GMO-labeling laws, food advocates warn. The amendment, introduced by Rep. Steve King, an Iowa Republican, is the newest salvo in an ongoing battle between food advocates and companies like Monsanto that create and sell genetically modified and genetically engineered seeds, which grow into GMO crops and find their way into an estimated 70 percent of processed foods in American grocery stores. Supporters of GMO-labeling point to studies showing a range of potential risks, from kidney and liver damage to reproductive system issues.
“The biotech industry knows that it’s only a matter of time before Washington State, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut and other states pass GMO labeling laws. Rather than fight this battle in every state, Monsanto is trying to manipulate Congress to pass a Farm Bill that will wipe out citizens’ rights to state laws intended to protect their health and safety.” “This impenetrable language simply means that states would be prevented from regulating just about any agricultural product in commerce. This sweeping provision would severely undermine all states’ authority to set standards for environmental protection, food safety or animal welfare. It would apply to genetically engineered food labeling, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulation, antibiotics use in meat and other local and state food and farm regulations.”
And now food advocacy groups are motivating to oppose the amendment’s inclusion in the 2013 Farm Bill. More than 14,000 people have signed  a petition protesting the so-called King Amendment, and social media campaigns are gearing up much as they did when the original “Monsanto Protection Act” — which provided legal protections for companies engaged in the production of genetically engineered seeds — came into the public consciousness back in March.

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