How the Corporate Food Industry Destroys Democracy

By Thom Hartmann, author and nationally syndicated daily talk show host. Originally published at Alternet.

On July 1, Vermont implemented a law requiring disclosure labels on all food products that contain genetically engineered ingredients, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs.

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch, hailed the law as “the first law enacted in the US that would provide clear labels identifying food made with genetically engineered ingredients. Indeed, stores across the country are already stocking food with clear on-package labels thanks to the Vermont law, because it’s much easier for a company to provide GMO labels on all of the products in its supply chain than just the ones going to one state.”

What that means is that the Vermont labeling law is changing the landscape of our grocery stores, and making it easier than ever to know which products contain GMOs.

And less than a week later after that law went into effect, it is under attack. Monsanto and its bought-and-paid-for toadies in Congress are pushing legislation to override Vermont’s law. Democrats who oppose this effort call the Stabenow/Roberts legislation the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” Act, or DARK Act.

This isn’t the first time that a DARK Act has been brought forward in the Senate, and one version of the bill was already shot down earlier this year. The most recent version of the bill was brought forward by Michigan Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts, both recipients of substantial contributions from Big Agriculture. Stabenow has received more than $600,000 in campaign contributions since 2011 from the Crop Production and Basic Processing Industry, and Pat Roberts has received more than $600,000 from the Agricultural Services and Products industry.

When Senator Stabenow unveiled the industry-friendly legislation, she boasted that, “For the first time ever, consumers will have a national, mandatory label for food products that contain genetically modified ingredients.” Which sounds great, and it would be great, if it were true.

But the fact is, the DARK Act would set up a system of voluntary labeling that would overturn Vermont’s labeling law and replace it with a law that’s riddled with so many loopholes and exemptions that it would only apply to very few products, and there’s no enforcement mechanism and no penalties or consequences of any kind for defying the bill. It also allows for labeling GMO-containing foods to be “labeled” with a QR code, those black squares that can only be read by your smartphone or computer.  That let’s manufacturers say, “We labeled it!” but prevents all but the most tech-savvy consumers from figuring out what the code means.

The Vermont labeling law, by the way, isn’t a law that just somehow managed to slip through Vermont’s legislature; the state legislature spent two years debating it, held more than 50 committee hearings and heard testimony from more 130 representatives before passing the bill in 2010.

Monsanto is pushing its puppets to pass the DARK Act quickly this week, effectively killing Vermont’s labeling law without a single hearing on the issue of labeling foods or seeds.

Despite the fact that nine of out of 10 Americans support laws requiring clear GMO labeling, members on both sides of the aisle in Congress would rather pass legislation to help agricultural giants like Monsanto pad their bottom lines instead of passing a law that a majority of Americans actually support.

And while conservatives normally profess to hate federal overreach and profess to love state’s rights, there are bought-off politicians in both political parties pushing to pass the DARK Act and overturn Vermont’s labeling law.

Opponents of GMO labeling have, in the past, said that the costs to clearly label products would require “expensive new packaging,” but the DARK Act gives lie to that; this labeling fight is clearly about Monsanto and other agricultural giants making sure that consumers don’t know what’s in their food.

This law that Monsanto’s puppets in Congress are pushing would cost companies roughly the same as the Vermont labeling law, because it would also require new labeling. But instead of having a clear label, the new packaging would allow a QR code to scan or a toll-free number to call to find out whether a certain product contains GMOs. It won’t save the companies any packaging money at all, but it would make it really, really hard for shoppers to find out whether or not a product contains GMOs.

If our democracy actually worked, this bill never would have seen the light of day, because people overwhelmingly want to know what’s in their food and support GMO labeling. But our democracy doesn’t work, because our lawmakers are bought and paid for by special interests like Monsanto.

If we want our lawmakers to pass popular laws that actually work, we need to get money out of politics, we need to overturn Citizens United and we need to amend the Constitution to make it clear that political bribes aren’t free speech and corporations aren’t persons.

Call the offices of Senators Roberts and Stabenow to let them know what you think about actual, clear GMO labeling and then check out for more about the campaign to get money out of politics.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Jerry Denim

    QR codes and apps! HA! What a joke. So let’s just assume that every American consumer has an up to date Smartphone running the latest software. I pay T-Mobile $150 a month and my phone is ridiculously buggy and unstable. It requires constant system updates and App updates and yet it still runs like crap. But now Congress wants me to believe that any smartphone is going to to be able to scan the QR code on any food product and that phone will display nutritional information? Hilarious. Death by complexity and non-compliance. Even under the rosiest of scenarios where the food manufacturers might actually want such a scheme to work I would have grave doubts, but when they don’t really want the plan to work and there is no enforcement mechanism? This is such an insult. Just save us all the headache and let them package adulterated food like they do in China, that’s the endgame here anyway isn’t it?

    1. nowhere

      It will also be fun when less savory people put QR codes that redirect to malware sites. You can corrupt your gut and phone at the same time.

    2. Dave

      This is actually a clarifying moment for people who eat.
      If there are no clear labels from the “GMO Free” movement, a separate organization from the Organic certifiers, placed on food, and if the label is not written in clear English, then we grocery customers should just assume that all food not labeled, to and including bar code bullshit, should be boycotted.

      If you want GMO free food, then buy organic. Talk to pregnant women and the parents of infants about the importance of organic food. They are the vanguard. As their children grow up eating only organic food, the factory-food, pesticide laden, GMO junk purveyors will become a stranded investment and will slowly and painfully go broke.

      For an example of how good things can get in the organic food industry, please see this website of what I believe is the finest, largest and expanding organic supermarket in America. And no, it is NOT Whole Foods.

      1. different clue

        There is also a default way to assure that some food items are FrankenFree even if they are not Certified Organic. And that would be those food crops which have not yet been GMO’d. Many long-duration perennial fruits and nuts have not yet been GMO’d. So a walnut is still FrankenFree no matter how conventional it is otherwise. I believe the same is still true for a pear or a plum or etc. etc.

        Franken Foe watchdogs can keep lists of crops which have not yet been FrankenGened up. Probably such lists will be published and kept updated by various FrankenFoe groups. If one has to subscribe to a newsletter, magazine, etc.; that is perhaps a fair price to pay for permitting people working for/with those FrankenFoe groups to be able to earn a decent living. People who don’t believe a social improver must be a destitute garrett-saint will not object to that concept.

        Growers of FrankenFree product could get together through organizations, etc. to decide what shall be the “detectable level of contamination” standard for calling something FrankenFree. Things meeting that private standard ( which would be very explicitly described and explained to the potential buying public) could be labeled FrankenFree. If nothing is entirely FrankenFree in tomorrow’s world of ubiquitous bio-active FrankenGene fallout, then the private certifying agencies and labs could determine how much FrankenGene contamination is detected in the sample, and the seller could use that information to describe herm’s product as , let us say, 1% FrankenTaminated or 99% FrankenFree or however the seller wants to describe it. And the buyer would at least know that heeshee is withholding herm’s dollars from the FrankenGene Industrial Complex.

        And of course, even conventional crops of varieties without one single GMO sub-variety could call themselves by definition: 100% FrankenFree.

        Every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.

        1. different clue

          Oh, and . . . ” Economics is the practice of Class Warfare by other means.”

    1. Kulantan

      Its deeply ironic that you are advocating a political party smart phone app as a solution to a bill that is problematic, in part, because it disadvantages people without smartphones.

  2. Robert Hahl

    “…we need to overturn Citizens United and we need to amend the Constitution to make it clear that political bribes are not free speech…”

    We always knew money talks. We just didn’t know that it is in the Constitution.

    1. abynormal

      Disagree. for example Ralph Nader proved Money IS Constitutional throughout the 60’s.
      What we’re facing is MON IS making the NRA appear like a head master at a kindergarten = fucked.

    2. jrs

      Yea it’s all about the “interpretation” of the Constitution, money being speech can be called into existence out of nowhere by mere interpretation, but in order to remove it we’re supposed to amend the Constitution which is nearly impossible. Why it’s as if there are one set of rules for them and another for us! If one was to be nerdy they could almost propose this slogan for a revolution: Overthrow the Red Queen! (from Alice in wonderland)

      And wouldn’t it be nice if writers of opinion pieces actually made suggestions that might actually work. The last Constitution amendment was 24 years ago and it concerned their own pay. The last Constitution amendment that actually involved “we the people” was 45 years ago. Much of the voting populace wasn’t alive then much less able to vote even under those rules. The process of changing the Constitution takes lifetimes, quite literally it’s a generations slow process.

      Super majorities are as a rule seem VERY VERY hard to achieve. They are hard to achieve in a direct vote, and do we expect 2/3s of our congress propose an amendment limited their own graft. The states might be the best bet (they are largely in Republican hands now if that matters). And then 3/4s of congress or the states need to approve it. A 3/4 majority reaches the threshold of very nearly impossible, I’d like to see actual odds attached to reaching a 3/4s threshold, I suspect you couldn’t get 3/4s of people to agree water was wet if you held a vote on it. And this is a vote of the states or congress.

      So better solutions than a Constitution amendment please or I being to suspect opinion writers are on the CIA payroll if they waste our time with nearly impossible solutions. And people wonder why radicals have no use for this so called fake democracy and it’s fake democratic process. While there may sometimes be a slight chance of getting someone decent in office despite all the rigging and there is nothing at all wrong with trying, the Supremes are corrupt, the Constitution is corrupt, and so on.

  3. Doug

    As Lambert notes, “And while conservatives normally profess to hate federal overreach and profess to love state’s rights, there are bought-off politicians in both political parties pushing to pass the DARK Act and overturn Vermont’s labeling law.”

    To this, let’s add neoliberal orthodoxy so celebrated by Repugs and Clintonista Dems points to transparency of information as among the pillars making free markets the one ring to rule them all.

    1. James Levy

      But everything is trumped by their belief that corporations have a right to profits. It’s not a matter of earning them. They have a right to them, so anything that might conceivably get in the way of not only profits, but “maximizing shareholder value”, must be suborned or swept away. My boss will bake more goods than he could possibly sell and throw loads of it away just to insure that if he could possibly sell one more blueberry tart, it will be there to be sold. No dollar that can possibly be extracted can be left on the table. The cost in time and waste is accepted as a given. Scale that up and enshrine it in law and you have corporate America and their ideological lapdogs.

  4. EndOfTheWorld

    This is why so many people hate ALL politicians. “Should never have seen the light of day” is right. So what is going to happen with this bill?

    1. abynormal

      as soon as the Bayer merger goes thru…Germany composes our constitution amendments?

  5. Carla

    Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) of course went over to the dark side when he endorsed HRC last November, and he has reinforced that with his whole-hearted support for the DARK act. As one of Sherrod’s aides explained to me, “Ohio is an agricultural state, and allowing Vermont to label GMOs would damage agriculture in Ohio.” Oh, really? They think we are so damned dumb.

    1. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

      And Thom Hartmann himself has been telling everyone for over a year that they need to back the Hillaroid because…Republicans. (Of course he would be ok with Bernie, but he has been talking down and cutting off callers who even dare question voting ABC or talk about voter suppression or vote rigging. He usually says it’s the Republicans who are worse blah blah blah, ignoring all current evidence to support the Hillaroid’s candidacy)

      If Thom had been actively noting and exposing the Hillaroid’s corrupt policies in that time maybe more of his nominally “progressive” listeners and viewers wouldn’t have thought it was ok to support the DINOs and then not voted in the primaries and caucuses for Hillaroid and all those who support this crap.

      He has one of the biggest followings in the “liberal” media and he needs to accept his own culpability in this too.

      1. pretzelattack

        a clinton supporting friend is a regular hartman listener. “he’s a bernie supporter, if there were anything to the charges that clinton is corrupt, he wouldn’t be backing her”.

      2. EndOfTheWorld

        Thom Hartmann himself is another example of a sleazy guy who accepts money for services rendered. Yes, he’s a smart and funny as well as sometimes informative, but, duh, it’s impossible to back Bernie AND the Hildabeast simultaneously while they are running AGAINST each other, dumbass. I never trusted Hartmann from the time he did his limited hangout job on the JFK assassination.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            Hartmann is obviously too smart to actually believe that the Mafia dudes offed JFK all by their lonesome, so, yes, somebody paid him off under the table for that project. Whether he is an ongoing CIA asset I would not care to guess.

      3. Adam Eran

        Hartmann claims Trump is “mobbed-up”…i.e. connected with organized crime. This would make sense since his attorney was, at one time, Roy Cohn.

        Anyway, it sounds to me like he’s bought the LTE argument.

        Personally, I say in non-swing states, vote Jill Stein Greens. It denies HRC a mandate, and empowers the Greens with matching funds…without jeopardizing the SCOTUS.

        Enough acronyms for everyone?

        1. EndOfTheWorld

          After having “Brunch With Bernie” for many years, Hartmann basically betrayed the old guy, IMHO, by not backing him unequivocally in the primary run. I sense that maybe that would have cost Hartmann his job, but many’s the time I’ve heard him prattle on about how he’s been so successful in so many businesses his whole life, so one would think he’s not hurting for money. I quit listening to him. I believe if Hartmann would have fought for Bernie, Bernie would have beaten the Hidabeast.

          1. Treadingwaterbutstillkicking

            After stabbing Bernie in the back, this past week Hartmann had the nerve to use some Bernie swag to fund raise for Free Speech TV (which has been in the bag the whole time for Hillary anyway as well).

            Un-friggin believable nerve. I hope Bernie tells him to f*** off if he ever does another Brunch with Bernie after this election.

            Thom Hartmann: Veal Farming the Left for Over 3 Decades!

        2. jrs

          Yea Trump is probably mobbed-up, it’s probably true. On the hand Hillary is bankstered-up. I’m not sure which is worse. The banksters are basically mobsters at this point, why they even launder drug money.

          1. EndOfTheWorld

            “The Mob” is a mere shadow of its former self. Trump has to deal with unions, and some of the unions have persons of Sicilian derivation in charge, that’s true. And Trump makes deals, of course. So what?

    2. John Wright

      It is a shame that some religion cannot determine that GMO modified food is incompatible with their beliefs and must be labeled to warn their believers..

      After all, religious God didn’t see fit to make these products, sinful man did.

      For example, if GMO’s were determined to be non-Kosher, legislators might be torn between fealty to the religious lobby and the Big Ag lobby in any attempt to force a Kosher logo on GMO foods.

      But, apparently GMO foods can be Kosher..

      Maybe Vermont needs to start a new state religion?

      1. different clue

        I think somewhere in the Bible is a prohibition against the grafting of a twig from one kind of tree onto another kind of tree. If my memory is correct, then perhaps the grafting of a gene sequence from one kind of organism into the gene sequence cluster of another kind of organism could be considered the equivalent of inter-species plant grafting. Perhaps if a suitably religious Jew could raise the question to a duly constituted body of Orthodox or Hyperdox Rabbis and in all straight-faced sincerity ask for a religious opinion, heeshee might get an opinion. For right now, I have to wonder if the Orthodox and expecially the Hyperdox Jews get out of their own world enough to even know what “GMO” even is.

        So getting a plausible-seeming questioner with unquestionable standing to rightfully ask the question of the right Rabbinical Authorities . . . . might very well open a new front in the War on GMOs.

  6. twisted

    Just on spec, I think the fear of GMOs is irrational.

    That said, to hell with any company even entertaining the notion that they can get away with strong-arming an elected government.

    Just once I’d like to see some poetic justice: let the federal law-makers decide that companies shall henceforth have to put GMO warnings on the front of the box. In a giant font!

    1. Yves Smith

      You have no idea what the long term effects are.

      A friend of mine, biomedical engineer, first worked for the NIH and later Big Pharma, hardly precious about food (ate stuff like potato chips, M&Ms, burgers, thought all that stuff was fine as long as you didn’t eat it too often) avoided GMOs like the plague until he gave up out of the view that it was too hard. He said this was a mass experiment being conducted on the public with no consent and no controls.

      1. Enquiring Mind

        Avoid artificial sweeteners, too. Their noxious effects continue to be investigated. Splenda, for example, impairs memory in addition to other side effects.

        That food producers, pharma and such can sleep at night after peddling their harmful products makes them no better than those Chinese melamine milk sellers.

      2. different clue

        Your friend’s effort to avoid GMOs strictly and rigorously like the plague reminds me of a story I once saw ex-Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan tell on a TV talk show. It was from his diplomatic service in India. All the embassy staff were warned to avoid various Indian food and water items to avoid getting sick. Sometimes they couldn’t be avoided. When a Catholic staffer had to eat/drink possibly contaminated food/water for diplomatic protocol reasons, he/she was not overly racked with guilt over it or felt impurified and defiled over it and so went right back to avoiding possibly contaminated food/water as much as possible. Whereas if a Protestant staffer had to consume possibly contaminated food/water for diplomatic protocol reasons, he/she felt so guilty, fallen and defiled as to immediately give up on returning to taking precautions. As a consequence, the Protestant staffers got way sicker way more often than the Catholic staffers.

        Your friend’s approach to avoiding GMOs like the plague, and giving up entirely when he/she discovered it wasn’t puristically possible every single time without exception makes me wonder if your friend was from a Protestant background. But that is just an intuitive feeling on my part and hardly qualifies as predictive cultural analysis.

        The point of this story is that it should be fairly easy to avoid GMOs about 70-80% of the time with basic non-onerous food choices and easy-to-apply precautions. Those who embark upon a foredoomed quest for purity will eventually give up entirely when they confront the basic fact that immaculate food-purity is impossible in a fallen and impure food world. But those who accept that the best they can reasonably do will have to be good enough and is better than nothing at all will keep plugging away at that 70-80% GMO avoidance. That means that they will be keeping 70-80 per cent of their food dollars away from the International GMO Conspiracy. And every dollar is a bullet on the field of economic combat.

        So I hope that would-be GMO avoiders will settle for the 70-80 percent easy-avoidability which any educated and informed person with some time and energy at herm’s disposable can achieve.
        And accept the other 20-30% GMO ingestion as the price to pay for living in an impure world.

          1. different clue

            Yes it would. And proper labelling is worth fighting for at every political level. But if proper labelling is politically defeated and denied, then one can either surrender to Monsanto a hundred percent of the time, or one can defy Monsanto 70-80 percent of the time.

            And right now . . . before proper labelling exists in most states anyway . . . . the choice of 100 per cent submission to Monsanto’s will or 70-80 per cent defiance of Monsanto’s wishes is the binary choice position people outside of Vermont are forced into today anyway. So people can submit totally, or defy mostly. I defy mostly, and live with the submission I cannot avoid. And in the parallel meantime, work against the DARK Act also.

        1. tegnost

          first it’s 90-100, then it’s 80-90, now it’s 70- 80, then it will be 60- 70, then 50-50, until at some point you won’t have the choice, everything you buy will feed the gene patent machine. It’s not that easy if it’s easy at all to avoid gmo’s. All we want is labeling so we can refuse to buy it, which seems to be the crux of the issue…free market indeed…and aren’t gmo’s supposed to make the impure world more marketable? perfect apples…. perfect looking anyway…

          1. different clue

            If enough people do 90-100 fast enough hard enough, they can attrit and degrade Monsanto’s revenue stream badly enough so as to render Monsanto vulnerable to all kinds of further political and commercial and Wall Street attacks. If you let Monsanto retain its strength and raise the GMO contamination level to 10-20, fighting Monsanto gets harder. If you let Monsanto retain its strength even longer, you have bought Monsanto the free gift of enough more time to raise the contamination level to 20-30.
            The longer people wait, the harder it gets to succeed in exterminating Monsanto from existence and wiping Monsanto from off the face of the earth.

            A quest for defensive purity won’t get Monsanto exterminated. And it will end in the long slide down to zero pure food that you describe. Whereas a quest for offensive extermination against Monsanto ( and Syngenta and Dow and Bayer too) might achieve success if it is viewed in those terms. The terms of War of Extermination which the clean foodists will win against Monsanto or which Monsanto will win against the clean foodists.

            And fighting for labelling is a good fight to wage in parallel. Labeling would make avoidance so easy for so many people that “blind market forces” might lead to Monsanto’s extermination anyway.

            But we don’t have labelling now. And if we lose the DARK act battle, then Vermont Quality labeling will be illegal. At which point, you can either boycott as much as feasible, or surrender. And 80 per cent boycott only makes sense as part of a broader War Of Extermination goal against Monsanto. It is a weapon of war if it is thought of as a weapon of war and used as a weapon of war.

            I suspect I am achieving 80 percent defiance of Monsanto’s wishes right now today, and tomorrow . . . and tomorrow . . . and tomorrow. And I don’t even feel bad about the other 20% I can’t do a thing about. Because I can’t do a thing about it. If enough other hundreds of millions of people wage the 80 % boycott as a weapon of war against Monsanto, enough such hundreds of millions of people can exterminate Monsanto from existence and wipe Monsanto from off the face of the earth.

            It is a good goal, is it not?

    2. Adam Eran

      “fear of GMOs is irrational”…? Not so.

      Bacillus thurengiensis is a natural insecticide, used by organic growers. In nature it washes off soon enough that the insects can’t breed resistance. As part of, say, BT corn ™, it’s poison is present throughout the growing season. Plenty of time for insects to develop generations that resist it. I’d say Monsanto owes damages to organic farmers for their crop losses.

      It’s also good to remember what happened when lots of new DNA was introduced to the New World after Columbus arrived. The “Columbian exchange” introduced lots of old world diseases (malaria, yellow fever, etc.) and cost existing populations–estimated by some to be larger than the Old World–90% of their members. Yes, some of that was whites making war, but the bulk of the population loss came from disease (says Charles Mann in books like 1491 and 1493).

      The huge de-populated areas of the New World were quickly gobbled up by land-hungry immigrants, but they discovered Africans survived best where yellow fever and malaria prevailed. Presto! Slavery!

      So, eating GMO DNA may not be poisonous, but it holds lots of unintended consequences. GMOs amount to the “future shock” for DNA.

    3. Lambert Strether Post author

      Even if GMOs were proven to be innocuous, I’d still oppose them because I oppose corporate control of the germ plasm, which is Monsanto’s business model. That is a second, and independent, reason for labeling.

    4. Chief Bromden

      GMOs are a crappy, useless product of the ‘command economy’ of which there was never any natural demand for. It’s corporate food totalitarianism at its finest. The only reason they exist is to grab more land and sell more poison. They don’t work. Industrial agriculture doesn’t work. The GMO flunky cultists keep convincing themselves they can win a bioweapons arms race with Mother Nature in a fit of major evolution denial. If you like having an inhabitable planet, you’ll become a GMO abolitionist.

  7. readerOfTeaLeaves

    Gotta hand it to Monsanto for creating forces that are driving, and will accelerate, a Local Foods movement, and a focus on ‘real, local’ food.
    There are millions of us, who have been spending a fortune on non-GMO foods, and/or growing some of our own, and/or paying higher prices for food grown in health soils, sustainably, at Farmer’s Markets.

    Monsanto may win this battle, but if they do it will:
    (1) increase public contempt of Congress, which is already epic
    (2) create yet more impetus for locally grown, sustainably sourced, ‘non-GMO’ foods
    (3) create market opportunities for smaller scale farming, which pretty much falls outside the realm of the FDA (but has to meet local health department guidelines)
    (4) create public animosity, distrust, loathing, and contempt for Monsanto among those well enough resourced to have time, brain cells, and attention to track this public policy train wreck
    (5) add more evidence for the corrosive role of money in politics
    (6) indirectly benefit EU producers and other non-US sources that can monitor, register, and track non-GMO foods with enough credibility that US purchasers will spend more to obtain those foods

    As my grandma used to say, ‘it’s never smart to lose by winning’.
    Apparently, Monsanto never had a wise grandma.

      1. different clue

        Are you devoted to purity or bust? It is true that the International GMO Conspiracy aims to gene-contaminated every single individual plant of the GMO-targetted species with Frankengene GMO fallout. Every single plant everywhere on the surface of the earth. And they will succeed, too. Does that mean that you will regard the choice of corn with 1% unwanted GMO contamination as against corn with 100% GMO content on purpose by design . . . as being equivalent? If that is how you will regard the 1% contaminated corn, and enough other people join you in regarding it that way, then you and everyone who takes your position will succeed in driving the 1% GMO contaminated growers out of bussiness. And then the only corn you will have left is the 100% GMO on purpose Dow Monsanto Bayer corn.

        Is that the outcome you want to be left with? Because that is the outcome that the quest for Organic Purity will achieve. And Monsanto knows it. Which is why Monsanto is working to trace-contaminate every corn plant on the face of the earth. So that the Purity Organic movement will commit ritual suicide rather than tolerate the existence of one GMO gene in a hundred. Or a thousand. Or a million. This is how the Purity Organic movement will do Monsanto’s job for Monsanto.

        Unless the Organic Movement gives up its devotion to Ritual Purity, and adopts a devotion to War of Extermination. War of Extermination against Monsanto. Is the Organic Movement prepared to live with Ritual GMO Impurity in order to carry the battle to the heart of the enemy?

      1. readerOfTeaLeaves

        It’s a corporation.

        And, as Mitt Romney told us all, “Corporations are people, my friend.”
        How could Mitt Romney be wrong about this?!


  8. nowhere

    This just wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a Clinton tie-in.

    In lobbying for the DARK Act, the OTA (Organic Trade Association) has employed the well-connected PR firm the Podesta Group to convince senators to stab consumers in the back.

Comments are closed.