SAFE food act passes out of Senate Committee, stark hypocrisy on display

Not a day goes by without some politician or another doing something utterly hypocritical. It is increasingly apparent that anyone who goes into politics isn’t actually a human, but rather a person-shaped alien who is lacking the gene marker for what we earthlings call “shame.”

But with the passage of the SAFE Act–the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act–through the Senate Agriculture committee, Americans are one step closer to not being able to know what GMOs are in our food. At the same time we are reaching peak hypocrisy in Congress.

The SAFE Act–dubbed the DARK Act by opponents, or Deny Americans the Right to Know–would negate any state laws that mandate labeling of GMO foods. Instead it would implement a voluntary labeling system, prevent the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from ever implementing mandatory GE food labeling, and allow food companies to continue making “natural” claims about foods that contain GE ingredients.

A House version of the bill has already been passed, so the only thing preventing it from becoming law is to survive a vote on the Senate floor.

It is frankly stunning that Congress would perform such an outrageous end run around the wishes of upward of 90 percent of Americans, according to recent polls, who want to know what they’re feeding their families.

But on the other hand we’re talking about politicians. So there’s an entirely different and far lower bar we have to judge them by.

First, and most obviously, we have to look at the money. Starting in 1999, over $572 million in campaign contributions and lobbying expenditures have made their way into greedy Congressional pockets, largesse gifted to them from agricultural and food patent-holding companies and two of the largest biotech and agrochemical trade associations. So when it come to choosing which of their constituents to side with, as has been shown again and again, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

But here’s where the bald-faced hypocrisy comes in. Many of the politicians supporting this odious bill are the same people who cry “state’s rights” for a myriad of issues, ranging from flying the Confederate flag, to voting restrictions, to gay marriage–the list goes on and on.

And the purpose of this bill is to explicitly take away the rights of states to regulate the way food is labeled, and to allow GMO companies to secretly insinuate their products into virtually everything we eat. Currently the floodgates are being held by a few states that that require GMO labeling, but as the public learns more about the dangers of GMO foods and the production of them, more and more people are rightly revolted at the notion of consuming them, and supporting changes in the way they are labeled.

If we are to believe that the US is still a democracy, then we can only hope that anyone with an interest in the future will contact their Senator. If they have no shame, at least we can remind them that the power of the voters is a mighty counterweight to the power of big money. Contact your Senator today. Stop the relentless march of Frankenfood!


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