This week, there will be a hearing of the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” (H.R. 4432). Introduced by Representative Mike Pompeo of Kansas, the bill would block any federal or state action to require labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients.
As Monsanto distances itself from GMOs, it would not only tie the hands of the USDA and the FDA to compel companies to disclose these ingredients, it would also tie the hands of state governments and preempt state law.
“From our Nation’s founding, the American constitutional order has been a Federal system, ensuring a strong role for both the national Government and the States.The Federal Government’s role in promoting the general welfare and guarding individual liberties is critical, but State law and national law often operate concurrently to provide independent safeguards for the public. Throughout our history, State and local governments have frequently protected health, safety, and the environment more aggressively than has the national Government.”
Why should we label GMOs?
There is no post-market surveillance to study whether or not these ingredients are triggering allergic reactions.
There is no mandatory pre-market safety testing of these ingredients before they are introduced into our food supply.
This bill allows genetically engineered ingredients to be included in products labeled “natural” undermining food companies and consumers’ trust in that growing industry
Compounds consumer confusion in a day and age where life-threatening food allergies are on the rise. Four lives have been lost in the last month alone.
Sixty percent of the world’s population have been afforded the fundamental human right to know about the ingredients in their food. Consumers in 64 countries, including Saudi Arabia and China, have the right to know if their food contains GMOs, to conduct post-market surveillance in the absence of any mandatory pre-market safety testing. American families should be afforded the same right.
The American Medical Association has called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of GMOs. Current testing is voluntary.
More than 30 states have introduced or worked on laws to require mandatory labeling of GMOs.
Connecticut, Maine and Vermont have passed mandatory GMO labeling laws.
As Justice Brandeis explained more than 70 years ago, “[i]t is one of the happy incidents of the federal system that a single courageous state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.”
This bill risks a lot.
Under H.R. 4432, we would lose our fundamental human rights to not only choose the foods that we are feeding our families, but the freedom to enact state laws to protect them.
You can learn more about the bill:
You can learn more about the Supremacy Clause and the doctrine of preemption:
You can comment online:
Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption
Current Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food
You can click here to learn how to contact your local representative ahead of this week’s hearing on Wednesday, December 10th. Please feel free to use and/or edit the commentary here for your correspondence.