Who reads the Congressional Record, unless forced to as a condition of release from hostage-takers? Not me. Government language is boring, full of "strike line 9 and amend line 13....". I've included a little bit from the latest farm bill which addresses genetically modified foods, and consumers' right to know what we buy.
It's a dirty job, trying to do the right thing. Highly-paid lobbyists are outside the doors, panting and clouding up the windows of Congress with their hot, nasty breath. Meanwhile, regular Americans are at work, at home, and busy taking care of children and doing dishes rather than paying attention to the details of all that legalspeak.
But, there is a reason you should care about the farm bill recently under consideration in Congress. Why should we care? Isn't the FDA on top of things? Well, if by "on top of things" you mean on top of opening the door to hiring regulators directly from the biotech companies they are supposed to regulate? Then yes, they are on top of that.
It's not the first time government and business are in bed together, but this is what we eat. This is what we feed our children, and it affects our health. There are no studies that consider genetically modified foods and their affects, but there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that it is harmful to children by causing severe allergic reactions, among other things. If you've read "The Unhealthy Truth" then you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't read that book yet, you should.
BORING, YET CRITICALLY IMPORTANT TEXT FROM THE BILL:
SEC. 12207. CONSUMERS RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD ACT.
(1) surveys of the American public consistently show that 90 percent or more of the people of the United States want genetically engineered or modified foods to be labeled as such;
(2) a landmark public health study in Canada found that--
(A) 93 percent of pregnant women had detectable toxins from genetically engineered or modified foods in their blood; and
(B) 80 percent of the babies of those women had detectable toxins in their umbilical cords;
(3) the tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States clearly reserves powers in the system of Federalism to the States or to the people; and
(4) States have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering or derived from organisms that have been genetically engineered.
(d) Right to Know.--Notwithstanding any other Federal law (including regulations), a State may require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale in that State have a label on the container or package of the food, beverage, or other edible product, indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered or genetically modified ingredient.
AND FINALLY, LANGUAGE TO PROTECT REGULAR FARMERS FROM MASSIVE COMPANIES WHO LIKE TO PICK ON PEOPLE, THE BASTARDS:
SA 2257. Mr. SANDERS submitted an amendment intended to be proposed by him to the bill S. 3240, to reauthorize agricultural programs through 2017, and for other purposes; which was ordered to lie on the table; as follows:
On page 1009, after line 11, add the following:
SEC. 12207. AGRICULTURAL PRODUCER PROTECTION ACT.
(1) IN GENERAL.--No agricultural producer shall be liable to a biotech company under any provision of Federal, State, or local law, including for injury, monetary damages, or patent infringement, resulting from the contamination of the seeds, crops, products, or plants of the agricultural producer by a genetically engineered product that is created, produced, or distributed by the biotech company.
(d) Private Right of Action by Agricultural Producers of Nongenetically Engineered Products.--Any agricultural producer of nongenetically engineered products whose seeds, crops, plants, or products are contaminated by a genetically engineered product may, in a civil action in a court of competent jurisdiction, bring an action against a biotech company for monetary damages for injury to the agricultural producer caused by the genetically engineered product.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Did you see the part about pregnant women having toxins from genetically modified foods in their blood? How about 80 percent of those women's babies had detectable toxins in their cord blood? How would you like to give birth knowing your baby had toxins in his system? Thank Monsanto for that.
I know, I just had a baby seven months ago, and I read "The Unhealthy Truth" and I'm angry. Nevermind opinion, those are some nasty statistics. Just because I'm a mom doesn't mean I don't know what I'm talking about.
There is good news. That part toward the end about "No agricultural producer shall be liable to a biotech company..." means that farmers cannot be sued when their fields are contaminated, from wind or insect, by a genetically modified seed from a neighboring field, which are patented and considered "stolen". Not only that, but a farmer whose fields DO get some crappy GM seed blown onto it CAN SUE.
And yes, CONTAMINATED is the right word for it.
I'm no tree hugger. I grew up in rural Oregon with Republican parents who were by all accounts quite reasonable people who wanted nothing more than healthy, happy, and productive children. They disliked waste of any kind, and respected hard work and people with integrity.
Europe, Japan, and Russia - Russia, for godsakes! - won't allow these crops to be grown in their countries without further study. Why not America?