GMO Food Labeling and Representative Todd Rokita

Representative Todd Rokita, Indiana’s 4th District Congressman, is opposed to mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods (GMOs). The safety of the food on your table may be at stake.

Rep. Rokita became a co-sponsor of House Bill 4432 on June 24th, 2014. This bill is titled, “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014”, by those who oppose labeling and titled, “Denying Americans the Right-to-Know Act (DARK)” by those who favor labeling. Mandatory labeling of GMO foods is required in over 60 countries worldwide, but not in the United States. Mandatory labeling is and has been aggressively opposed by such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow Chemical, DuPont, Bayer Crop Science, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association. The Grocery Manufacturers Association includes nearly all of the companies that supply food products for the middle aisles of your grocery store, except those labeled “Non-GMO” or “Organic”.

Vermont recently passed mandatory GMO labeling legislation. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, with others, has filed a law suit against Vermont to block implementation of their labeling law. Vermont plans to fight.

BUT, if House Bill 4432 is passed and eventually becomes law, no state will be permitted to require GMO food labeling. That authority would be only in the hands of the federal government. This is just where big chemical/seed and food manufacturers want the authority. The federal government has not, so far, acted in favor of labeling which is why efforts in a multitude of states to require labeling have been so numerous. People are concerned about the food they put on their tables.

There are two arguments. The first is whether the public has the right to know how food is produced and what is in it or on it. This should be a no brainer. The public should know everything. No secrets.

The second argument is whether GMO foods are different from non-GMO foods. Current federal regulations say not, but there are many in the scientific community that do not agree. There are remaining disturbing questions about the long term safety of genetically engineered foods and the pesticides typically used with them.

Again, there are over 60 countries worldwide that require labeling of GMO foods. Why should we be the only ones in the dark? The answer is that big chemical/seed and big food want us to be. Representative Todd Rokita sides with them.

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About Kent Blacklidge Ph.D.

As part of a newspaper family who owned a 34,000 daily newspaper in the heart of the Midwest, I have a passion for a strong “Fourth Estate”, the press. Without a diligent and assertive free press, the power would be taken from the people. People have the absolute right to know. After earning a degree in Industrial Management from the Krannert School of Management at Purdue, I spent over 20 years in newspaper management with several as publisher. I am also holder of three graduate science degrees including a Ph.D.. I have a passionate interest in science and the environment. I have little tolerance for ignorance and stupidity.
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