I feel compelled to once again address the mandatory GMO labeling issue, though it’s becoming tiresome…
On Thursday, July 23 2015, the House passed The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, by a vote of 275-150. If enacted, the law would bar individual states from issuing their own mandatory labeling laws for foods that contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms).
I am against this federal bill, which prevents the state legislatures from mandating GMO labeling, just as, conversely, I am also against any state bill which would mandate GMO labeling.
Sound contradictory? Well, it’s not; allow me to explain.
Now, keep in mind, I myself avoid foods containing GMOs. I don’t believe there’s been adequate testing done—especially in the determination of possible long-term effects—and therefore the science isn’t yet complete; in my opinion, the jury is still out on this one. So until we know more, and have had sufficient time to determine the long-term safety or danger of GMOs, I’ve elected to stick with real, natural foods as much as possible.
But the mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs is a multi-faceted issue, and since the bulk of what I see out there does not properly address each component individually, I’m going to attempt to do so here:
From a constitutional perspective, the federal government has no authority to regulate the food industry, so any attempt to do so is clearly unconstitutional. (Yes, this means that both the FDA and USDA are also unconstitutional).
Therefore, any legislation concerning GMO food labeling—since it is not an issue addressed by the Constitution—should, by law, be deferred back to the several states, or to the people.
2) Human Rights
From a human rights perspective, no government—national, state, or local—should have the authority to mandate the business practices of private enterprise, including the labeling of food products. Forcing business owners to comply with government mandates is a clear violation of their rights. A company’s actions and policies should be determined by its owners, and then subjected to free market forces; the acceptance or rejection of the company’s actions and policies by consumers will determine the success or failure of the company, and motivate the company to either adapt to market demand or risk going out of business.
3) Common Sense
From a common sense perspective, understand: mandatory GMO labeling laws have nothing to do with your “right to know what’s in your food.” Of course you have the right to know what’s in your food, just as you have the right to consume whatever you choose (which is why I support the legalization of all drugs). But that’s not the question here; the question, rather, is “do you have the right to point guns at others, and force them to meet your demands?”
Obviously, no, you don’t have that right. Nobody does.
You do, however, have the right to either purchase, or not purchase, a product based on whether the company’s actions and policies are to your liking—such as, say, how they label their food products. If a company refuses to cater to the market, it can sit back and watch its sales drop, and even risk going out of business.
And besides, there’s a fundamental flaw in the statement “We have a right to know what’s in our food!”, and that is this: it’s not “your food” until you purchase it; up until that point, it’s their food, and they have the right to do what they choose with it. Don’t like it? Don’t buy it. Simple as that.
4) Government Regulation Doesn’t Make It Safe
And lastly—and very importantly: what makes anyone believe that state intervention, on any level, is going to make the food safer? The state already regulates the hell out of the food industry, via the FDA, USDA, and others—and the result? The labeling is deceptive, and our food is toxic, unhealthy, nutritionally deficient, and is making us fat, sick, and even killing us!
It amazes me that people can’t seem to learn this. Dragging the state into the issue will do nothing to resolve it; it only advises the industry as to who they can now bribe, and gives the people a false sense of security or safety, while the exact opposite becomes the reality—not to mention the increased costs to the people, on both ends of the process: higher taxes on the front end, to fund the state’s regulation/enforcement thereof, and higher consumer prices on the back end, to fund the company’s compliance/fees/fines for non-compliance, etc.
So, higher taxes, higher consumer prices, unsafe food being labeled as safe, and ultimately no accountability within the industry…sounds awesome, doesn’t it? Hope so—because this is exactly what you get when the state decides to “regulate” an industry.
The Real Solution
So what’s the ultimate solution? Easy: buy food products that are labeled to your liking, and don’t buy those that aren’t.
Pretty simple stuff. But then, liberty usually is.