Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are the subject of
much debate, particularly as they apply to agriculture. Most Americans consume some form of
GMOs, as most corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified.
Proponents of GMOs say that genetically modifying food
provides far more abundance and helps to feed hundreds of millions of people in
the world who would otherwise lack food.
Opponents or critics of GMOs say that these foods are not
healthy and that they should be labeled accordingly. In the U.S., labeling is not required. In addition, some critics think GMOs
should be banned completely because they are dangerous to the environment and
pollute other crops due to “gene drift”.
For those who defend liberty, the last part about GMOs
spreading is probably the most controversial. If it can be proven that GMO pollen is contaminating other
areas, then perhaps it should be banned for the violators, as this is an issue
of property rights. You should certainly
have the right to grow whatever food you want and sell it to whomever you want,
but not if you violating the property rights of others. This would be no different than dumping
chemicals on your lawn that seep into your neighbor’s ground.
Of course, this is a major political issue. As it seems with so many things, the
government pushes things that line their own pockets and puts your health in
jeopardy. Monsanto is a giant
corporation that sends money to campaigns in exchange for government favors and
protection and Monsanto is probably the biggest proponent of GMOs.
In 2012, an amendment was introduced to the 2014 farm bill
that sought to clarify states’ rights in determining whether GMO labeling is
required. The amendment was
introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Senator Barbara Boxer of
California, who aren’t exactly known as decentralists.
But the amendment was voted down by 71 senators, including
several senators who are thought of as more conservative. Apparently the Constitution means
nothing to any of these politicians.
The U.S. Constitution
As with almost everything, the Commerce Clause in the
Constitution has been completely turned on its head. While it original intent was to make sure that free trade
existed between the states, the politicians in Washington DC use it as an
excuse to pass almost any piece of legislation.
Of course, the Congress and the federal government have no
business being in the business of agriculture. This isn’t an enumerated power in the Constitution. There should be no such thing as a
national farm bill. There should
be no Department of Agriculture.
As a libertarian, I am against mandating the labeling of
anything. It should be the choice
of the seller, which ultimately is dictated by consumer demand. Perhaps more consumers will stop buying
food products that aren’t labeled.
At the same time, this is also an issue of states’
rights. While I don’t agree with a
law requiring labeling, it should be for each state to decide this. It is none of Washington DC’s
business. For this reason,
Senators Sanders and Boxer actually had a good amendment that should have been
included, even though the whole bill was unconstitutional anyway.
In case you haven’t noticed, the politicians in DC don’t
care about the Constitution. They
also don’t care about your health.
They are collecting donations from Monsanto, so they don’t care, unless
they start to get significant backlash from their constituents.
You can’t depend on the government for anything, including
protection. Why would they protect
you when they are too busy destroying you? For this reason and others, you have to take personal responsibility
and look out for yourself and your family.
If you are concerned about GMO foods, then you will have to
do some research yourself and avoid foods that you know are likely to contain
GMOs. Instead of writing a letter
to Congress, write a letter to a food producer or to a grocery store, asking
for labeling of GMOs. Perhaps more
stores will pick up on this as a niche market to attract customers by keeping a
non-GMO section in the store.
If you are going to write your “representative” in Congress,
don’t ask for required labeling of GMO foods. Instead request that they stop passing farm bills and to
defund the Department of Agriculture.