Yesterday I made a glorious #AgNerd discovery; I can watch CSPAN live on my computer, which means I was able to listen in on much of yesterday’s Senate Farm Bill debates. While I never knew there was so much controversy about catfish, I will save that for another post. Now I will admit I was somewhat tuning in and out of the floor speeches as I went about my work day, but one particular amendment caught my attention.
Senator Sanders from Vermont introduced an amendment that would require the labeling of all food products that contain genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). The amendment, which is being co-sponsored by Senator Boxer from California, was described by Senator Sanders as “not a terribly radical idea.” (Although I differ in that opinion.)
Not surprisingly, the senator was quick to point the finger at Monsanto, at least 6 times within his 15-minute speech (yes, I counted). He attacked Monsanto for their financial successes and record returns, but failed to recognize that Monsanto is a business just like any other. We encourage businesses, and society in general for that matter, to strive to put their best foot forward. We don’t strike down athletes that win a race, we reward them, and the same can be said in business. A successful business, like Monsanto, is nothing more than an athlete that has learned how to stay ahead in the race we call the world of agri-business.
As for the amendment, I will admit that as of right now I don’t support it. While Senator Sanders preaches that the American consumers “deserve to know what they are eating,” I fear that this will only fuel the fire of our already “label-happy” society. The senator acknowledges that the FDA already requires the labeling of approximately 3,000 ingredients, additives, and processes in food products. However, GMOs are not going to make you fat like trans-fats or trigger allergic reactions like peanuts. These products have been used in the American food supply for decades, and I believe they should continue as such without this unnecessary labeling.
While you know where I stand on the issue of GMO labeling, I would like to know your opinion and encourage you to fill out the poll below.
- To watch Senator Sanders speech on the Senate floor, click HERE and scroll to 1:29