Rokita’s Betrayl

Representative Todd Rokita has betrayed you, again! On May 12th, he signed on as a co-sponsor for HR 1599, a Congressional bill that would effectively block required labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. A labeling requirement on such foods exists in 64 countries worldwide.

This is not a new story. Rokita signed on as a co-sponsor of the same bill introduced by Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas in the last session of Congress. Pompeo is a darling of big chemical/seed and big food corporations. It appears Rokita wants to be one as well.

HR 1599 carries the name, “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act”. It is far from that. Those of us that believe the public has a right to know how food is produced and what is in it call the act, “The Deny Americans the Right to Know Act” (DARK). Take a look at food labels now. There is a great deal of information on them, but big chemical/seed and food corporations want no one to know if genetically engineered components are a part of the food you eat. Secrecy is the word.

Contrary to claims about the safety of GE or GMO foods, there have been no long term human health safety tests. Tests on laboratory animals, mostly outside of the United States, have shown all sorts of health concerns with measurable damage to digestive systems, liver, and other organs. In the United States, GE foods were simply declared safe by government decree under the George H.W. Bush/Dan Quayle administration. The decision was political and not based in sound science. The scenario continues. People have become the laboratory test animals without their knowledge or consent.

There is a new reason now for even greater concern. Glyphosate (RoundUp, typically) pesticide has been declared a “probable human carcinogen”; that is, causes cancer. This comes from the World Health Organization: International Agency for Research on Cancer. This designation is the highest possible through laboratory animal testing.

The primary reason for genetically engineered corn and soy beans to date has been to enable them to withstand massive doses of glyphosate pesticide and live. All vegetation around them is to die. It is known pesticide residues follow the crop to the dinner table. Now we know there may be an increased risk for cancer. But, you are not supposed to know that.

I am taken by the parallels I see between the tobacco industry and the present day big chemical/seed and processed food industries. Secrecy and lies dominated the tobacco industry.

So, here we are with a Representative that prefers to keep you in the dark. He does not want you to know if the foods you feed your family contain genetically engineered ingredients or have been dosed with a cancer causing pesticide. He does not want you to be able to make informed decisions for yourself, but rather have the big federal government make them for you. He wants all power to rest with federal agencies like the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency that have failed to protect you in the first place. He wants to take all power away from states to be able to make decisions and act for their respective citizens.

I, for one, fail to understand this kind of reasoning unless it again is yet another case of follow the corporations, lobbyists, and the money. It certainly is not to protect the interests or health of Indiana citizens.

Nice going, Representative Todd Rokita. You are one for the books.

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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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