What is in this article?:
- Sanders labeling amendment killed by common sense
- Crazy-quilt regulations
- On the face of it, the Sanders food label amendment sounded reasonable: It would have granted states the right to establish their own rules for labeling food that contains biotech ingredients. Yet think about where state-by-state labeling could lead: 50 states with 50 different sets of rules about what information must appear on consumer products.
Few states would go this far. Yet incompatible rules could proliferate from state to state–and our food would start to cost more.
When an assembly line has to stop and reconfigure, production slows down and prices go up. If food companies have to change the look of their products, just to comply with an array of crazy-quilt regulations, consumers will pay more for food.
The labels wouldn’t make food safer because biotech ingredients are already 100-percent safe, as the federal government and groups ranging from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization to the American Medical Association have determined. The labels simply would convey information that consumers don’t need, while also making our grocery-store bills rise.
Moreover, there’s a simple solution already in place. People who want to avoid biotech food already can do so by purchasing organic food. If the label says the food is organic, then it doesn’t have biotech ingredients.
For those who accept modern science and technology, and wish to continue to have access to a plentiful supply of wholesome and inexpensive food, a mandatory label is unnecessary and will only raise costs.
In the Senate, the Sanders amendment lost by a wide margin: 26 in favor, 73 opposed. If a new version comes up in the House, let’s hope that it loses again.
It would show that even in Congress, common sense can prevail.
Terry Wanzek is a wheat, corn and soybean farmer in North Dakota. He serves as a ND State Senator and volunteers as a board member for Truth About Trade & Technology. www.truthabouttrade.org