The Roberts-Stabenow Dark Act – an effort to hide clarity in food labeling

July 1st has come and gone, and the specifics of this date are extremely important for food labeling activists around the united states.  Specifically, this date has induced the first national Genetic Engineering Labeling Law in the United States.  This law is plan and simple, and it requires companies to put in plain English if the food product within the packaging has ingredients that use Genetic Engineering.   Much more can be read at Vermont’s Right to Know GMO site.

Like California laws regulating emissions and toxicity of fibers or chemicals that can cause cancer,  Vermont’s Label law is significant in a federal way.  The specific reason is that it fills gaps in regulations and laws that congress has not preempted or superseded.  However, on the heels of this victory – there is trouble brewing in the air.  This trouble is the “Roberts-Stabenow ‘Dark Act'”.  What is this act, why is congress so intent on making their own regulations and what could happen if they don’t make their own food labeling laws – are the 3 things I want to look at today.

To begin with, the Roberts-Stabenow act is a food labeling act attempted to be implemented by congress.  This would be the first labeling of Genetically Engineered foods at this level.  Currently there are no existing regulations on this type of food product at the national level.  There are roughly 50 state led efforts of varying degree.  The most successful of these is the Vermont law, which went into effect on July 1, 2016.  This law, simply put, requires all companies to put a simple statement if any of the ingredients are genetically engineered.

In the Federal system that we Americans live under, there are essentially 50 plus governments that create a standard of rules for the entire federal system.  This is because each state has sovereignty within it’s own borders.  Due to this sovereignty, there are existing situations where, either for the methods of prosecution or based on the will or need for safety of the people, individualized regulations have been created.  Such laws such as Cannabis regulation are an example of such sovereignty.  Truth in Food Labeling is another.  While states have rights to create their own regulations within their borders, these can not be in direct negation or conflict with the federal regulations.  States can for example, enhance requirements on air pollution locally that are stronger than say – EPA regulations.

This is especially true where Federal regulations have not set up regulations in their place.  When a state does come up with regulations that are more stringent or fill gaps that congress has not, it is possible for the states to step in and fill the role on a localized or even national level.    Have you ever seen on games shows like The Price is Right or Wheel of Fortune where they give away cars and the announcer says “this automobile meets or exceeds California Emissions Standards”?  As we can see in this New York State Government Website, California Emissions Standards are being adopted by multiple states around the nation as they were more stringent that those enacted by the federal government.  In order to sell their cars to the largest single US market, manufacturers had to meet the California Standards.  Instead of making separate autos for the rest of the states, these standards have become part of national automobile sales by default.

Why is this important?  According to the American Jurisprudence 2d – Constitutional Law ( available at most libraries by signing in through their web systems):

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What’s the deal with Monsanto, GMO’s and this #MarchAgainstMonsanto?

#GMO, #Organic, #M25, #MAM #Monsanto and #Poison are just some of the tweets you may be seeing over the next few months as many are predicting that 2013 is the year of protests and marches against corporations that are proven to have track records that are not environmentally responsible.

Many people who read this may ask why.  It’s a valid question.  Is this something new?  No it’s now new.  Here’s the skinny –

Monsanto is a poison manufacturing company that has been making corn and soybean plants that survive to their poisons for over 20 years.  This began as an improvement over the types of poisons being used on farm fields before the EPA banned the use of DDT on Dec, 31 1972.   These plants are now part of our food stream and foods and animals like it are becoming commonplace without labeling and exposing the research that proves eating poison resistant food causes cancer in lab rats.  Generally when lab rats don’t react well to things, it’s bad for humans.  The poisons being used on ‘weeds and insects’ are not cycled so the weeds are becoming resistant to the current versions.  Now Monsanto wants to increase the levels of poison or ‘insecticide’ because the weeds aren’t going away as well anymore.

There has been a stir in the United States of late because we are just catching up to all the crap going on in the United States.  I mean we’ve been at war for the last decade.  Additionally we have been dealing with greedy banks and an automotive industry that collapsed.  Besides being in a recession, health insurance, mental health, gun violence and an exploding murder rate and oceans that are on the verge of death because of plastic pollution and nations that won’t follow the rules…  oh that and our government is being exposed for being in bed with Monsanto… http://twitpic.com/cqmlh9

Why has this become an issue?  Like all things that come to the level of attention on an international level where the EU has banned growth of GMO plants and Golden Rice is being contested around the world , it’s because the growing problem threatens life on earth as a whole.  GMO’s aren’t  just corn and soybeans by Monsanto Corporation, it’s Apples that don’t brown so fast, fish and chickens developed to grow larger than nature created and at a quicker rate.    Let me explain it this way, if they created a way for a 9month old child was the size of a five year old – would you freak out?  This is an example of what they are doing.  Some of this was created for the purpose of  saving the world and developing stronger food crops, like the Golden Rice project.  For major food crops, the problem of pesticides on crops is not anything new.  Monsanto is the major player in this game, and has grown on an international level to have a major level of control over the planets food system.

Like all things that involve science, research costs money.  To invest in creating these things lays an expectation by shareholders that the research becomes profitable.   The research was begun as a way to feed people more efficiently.   Unfortunately, it hasn’t stayed this way.  Monsanto’s efforts have become such a power grab to control the world’s food stream that they have positioned themselves, and former emploee’s in positions of government where regulations impacting the future of our food stream are being pushed through a regulatory process to implement across the board ability to produce without repercussions if something goes wrong. This is a problem because Monsanto has a history of creating things that are proven to cause harm to animals and humans.  This doesn’t account for the new products they are trying to introduce into the farming system.  Honestly, many rural farmers are caught in a bind.  As planting season is upon us or already complete in much of the country, the concerns about the ability to harvest biotech crops is a concern many farmers face.

So, March Against Monsanto has been created.  Why?  Because the people are responsible for the education of one another.  Change happens when people ask questions of one another, when congressional representatives are called into action and accountability to watch over the welfare of the people.  On May, 25 2013 people from around the world will be gathering, in cities large and small.  They will be coming together in peaceful assembly on the steps of state capitals and community centers around the world.  The effort and intention is to bring world wide accountability, a unified voice of the citizens of the world saying enough is enough.  The intentions of making better crops has been surpassed and there is science to prove it.  Just take a few minutes to type “Cancer, GMO, Testing”.  Either you will get sick or you will be glued to your screens for days to come!

What to do about it now?  Register for your local march!!!  This link takes you to the closest march near you.  Scroll the line to the right and you will find the Facebook link, Go Register and show support by telling others!   Go to Facebook, Twitter, your local grocery store.  Post some flyers, be the Grassroots change!   Begin requesting labeling of GMO foods, call your representatives and tell them how you feel.  Come to the March itself!  Be proactive with your shopping, buying from local organic farmers, converse with them about the food you are eating.  Plant a garden in your yard.

This is a video I found on YouTube that is about 13 Minutes long, by TheHealthRanger but it’s extremely important in getting the truth out.