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Monsanto Threatens To Sue Vermont If Legislators Pass A Bill Requiring Food To Be Labeled

By Will Allen and Ronnie Cummins
Alternet

What it really comes down to this: Elected officials are abandoning the public interest and pubic will in the face of corporate intimidation.

April 4, 2012

The world’s most hated corporation is at it again, this time in Vermont.

Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.

The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote.

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SteveMT's picture

Monsanto should be taken to court, over and over again.

Monsanto’s GMO Corn Contributing to Weight Gain, Disrupts Organs
Mike Barrett - March 21, 2012

Are genetically modified foods making you sick and fat? Monsanto’s genetically modified creations have been pegged for causing a plethora of environmental and human harm, but are they also contributing to one of the country’s fastest growing health problems? A study published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences shows that GM food is indeed contributing to the obesity epidemic.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/monsantos-gmo-corn-contributing-to...

FYI, I'm just posting this

FYI, I'm just posting this here to get eyeballs of whomever it may apply to.

I'm from southwestern Michigan and am looking to move some Ron Paul slim jims (issue cards) to northwest Indiana, especially the South Bend area. I'm willing to deliver about seventy-five dollars worth of them for just twenty-five bucks, all of which will be going to fund more campaigning. The campaign saves the shipping and production costs which do nothing to help the campaign, you save a lot of money period, and I can move left over inventory that would otherwise go to waste and help fund my Uncle and I for delegate campaigning in Michigan. Win-win-win= win for all.

Let me know if you're interested, thanks!

Government is Out of Control

I was just window-shopping at a California furniture store, and the salesman told me of a small company from out of state that was making mid-century diner-style booths. OSHA (CA's Gestapo for "safety") seized a big delivery because they used the wrong foam, and the company went out of business.

Government is out of control. I can't wait for state payroll checks to start bouncing. It's just crazy-making that they would be so cruel.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

One Day, Monsanto Will Burn for Its Shenanigans

Read this article and tell me your heart doesn't just weep. The sad thing is, I'm afraid, America isn't far behind.

"The "Massive Con" Causing a Suicide Every 30 Minutes"
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/04/0...

much of the article you cite is nonsense

While I'm not personally a fan of consuming GMOs, and while I recognize that they may be (seriously) harmful, we have to be honest, here.

The article to which you cite states, "Genetically engineered crops require much more water to grow, have much higher requirements for fertilizer and pesticide, in spite of Monsanto's claims to the contrary and, in spite of their cost to farmers, provide NO increased yield."

These assertions are simply false. Yield per acre has increased dramatically, in part because of GMOs. http://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/articles.03/cornyld...

Further, modern GMO seed varieties are far more drought resistant than their more traditional counterparts.

Here's additional commentary: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311190478740457652...

Again, I'm not signing on to all of the statements in this WSJ article; I eat from the garden. I'm just suggesting that some of the statements in the article to which you cite are blatantly false.

Then Tell the Agriculture Ministry in India that They Are Wrong!

The articles you cite reference GM corn, and the article I referenced discusses GM cotton. You could be comparing apples to oranges. Or are you an expert on the difference betweeen the two?

Also, your first article is old. GM crops perform quite well for awhile, but a decade down the road is a different story.

Farmers in India aren't committing suicide with Monsanto's pesticides just for the hell of it!

http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-Feed/Business/Ministry-bl...

historical data for US cotton yield/acre

The data, linked below, does not support your assertions.

Instead, the data shows a significant increase from the start of data in 1960 (535 lb/acre) to 2011 (1231 lb/acre). My understanding is that Bt cotton was introduced in the mid-1990s in the United states. Since then, yields have increased at least 20%.

http://usda01.library.cornell.edu/usda/ers/89004/Table-09.xls

http://usda.mannlib.cornell.edu/MannUsda/viewDocumentInfo.do...

I don't know who's to blame for what's going on in India, but I think it's worth considering the possibility that GM cotton is a scapegoat for the Indian government.

Agree to Disagree

It is obvious from the rest of this thread that you would like to argue and go back and forth all night, and I don't have time for that. Therefore, I say we just agree to disagree.

However, I do have one question for you. If GM crops are so fantastic in terms of yield and feeding people, then why do you abstain from consuming GM foods?

The bottom line is that Monsanto is evil and has blood on its hands.

consistency

Frankly, I wrote a lot on this post because I'm tired of hearing Ron Paul supporters complain about government and then demand government take action against some company or product they don't happen to like. It's really inconsistent. Ron Paul is not.

Are we advocating for a free market or aren't we?

I believe in free choice. I think there is some evidence to suggest that GMO crops can be harmful. Until I've concluded otherwise, I'm exercising my right to minimize my exposure.

But your question presents a logical fallacy. Simply because I think something should be legal does not mean I use or consume it.

You dislike Monsanto. I dislike gambling. That doesn't mean we need to go running to government to ban these things.

For the Record...

I want to point out that I NEVER stated my position for or against any government mandates on this issue. My goal was simply to educate others about the obvious evil deeds this corporation has committed and will continue to commit.

Enjoy thinking of your next argument!

slight of hand

Fair enough on your mandate position. My earlier comments were directed to what I viewed as inconsistency in policy.

Unfortunately, your most recent comment still contains a slight of hand. You assert that you are educating others about the "obvious evil deeds" of Monsanto. Yet the first article you reference as allegedly showing these "obvious evils" appears to be little more than conjecture. In fact, to support the conclusion that GM crops "provide NO increased yield," the article cites to another article on the same website. And, that article relies on only a single citation - to a Badgley et al. 2007 study that has been criticized as employing inappropriate methods.

(http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPag...)
(http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn12245-organic-farming-...)

Further, the actual data sets and article I provided refute your article's (questionable) assertions.

Finally, with respect to your earlier comments regarding India's Ag Ministry, why trust the word of India's government? I mean, most Paul supporters are skeptical of their own government's assertions and motives.

Ron Paul abhors government mandate

This law is a government mandate.

As a fan of organic, I limit my intake of GMO foods. But asking for a government mandate is antithetical to everything Ron Paul and those in the liberty movement stand for.

Please take a consistent approach. The market can win this fight; government mandate is not a win for individuals.

Liberty for the big corporations like...

Monsanto and no Liberty for the common people.

please explain

I don't understand your comment. Are you in favor of using government force to make Monsanto act as you desire? Or, are you in favor of using the market?

Liberty allows you to reject Monsanto food. It doesn't allow you to force, via government mandate, Monsanto to comply with your wishes. So I ask: what version of "liberty" do you seek?

1) the is a state level

1) the is a state level mandate. My guess is that Paul would support it.

2) I don't believe in a 'right' to health care but I do believe I have a right to know what I'm putting in my body. Mandates that protect real rights I think Paul would support, possibly even at the Federal level.

3) I'll probably catch some flack for this one, but if there's any proof that the Free Market isn't perfectly self-regulating, it's Monsanto Corp. In a perfect system we could probably sue for false advertising. But the system isn't perfect. Even Paul recognizes that.

How much of what we eat says "all natural" when in fact it's some GMO crap concocted in a lab? I am also trying to eat better, read labels and whatnot, but we're just saying the labels should be truthful.

disagree

1) You're confusing policy with law. Yes, the state can Constitutionally enact such a law (at least with respect to the US Constitution). This does not answer the question about whether such government mandate is good policy. I suggest that it is not; we can educate others about GMOs so the free market can work.

Ergo, I strongly suggest Ron Paul would not be in favor of such government mandate.

2) You have a right to know what's going into your body. You can ask a producer before purchasing. If s/he doesn't provide a satisfactory response DON'T BUY THE PRODUCT.

3) Paul acknowledges that no system is perfect. Do not betray a consistent policy position because you hate Monsanto.

re 1) maybe "Paul would

re 1) maybe "Paul would support it" was a bit strong, but he wouldn't find any constitutional reason to oppose it.

re 2) I do ask, in a way, by reading labels. They lie.

re 3) Paul opposes Social Security but is willing to make certain concessions because this is the real world, not some libertarian fantasy where the Free Market has reigned for decades.

in reply

1) I agree that he may not find a Constitutional reason to vote against it (at a state level). As stated previously, this comment entirely ignores whether this mandate is good government policy.

2) I'm going to repeat myself: If you don't get a satisfactory response, DON'T BUY THE PRODUCT. In other words, if you don't trust the label, don't purchase the product. You don't need government to do this for you.

3) Your analogy doesn't wash. Ron Paul opposes Social Security but doesn't favor eliminating it outright. He therefore favors phasing it out over time. This is different than ADDING more mandates, which is what you're proposing via your support for the Vermont GMO law.

1) I agree with you as far as

1) I agree with you as far as "mandates (in general) are bad policy" goes. My take on that though is that they should be kept to a bare minimum necessary for gov't to accomplish it's primary mission of protecting rights. I'm just of the opinion this would be justifiable, with that in mind. We don't have to agree on everything.

3) in theory he does advocate eliminating it. The phasing it out over time thing is the practical concession I'm referring to.

As someone who was torn apart

As someone who was torn apart for not following the pack on another GMO related post, I just want to say that I'm glad some people here don't stop thinking logically just because a product they don't support is involved.

sorry you got torn apart in

sorry you got torn apart in the previous discussion, but just because we disagree doesn't mean I'm thinking illogically. My logic just leads me to a different conclusion than yours does you.

Reasonable people CAN disagree on certain issues. (take abortion, for example...)

I don't believe you were on

I don't believe you were on the other thread, so I wasn't really referring to you specifically.

While I'm not sure exactly how you are making the determination as to which mandates to allow and which to disallow, I am assuming that there is logic involved.

Also, you seem to acknowledge that the ideal solution would be suing for fraudulent advertising, and I completely agree you on with that.

well, these the way the

well, these the way the comment threads are highlighted implied you were referring to me, since anon was replying to me and you replied to his reply to me... :P

The logic involved is along the lines of "while federal mandates should be kept to a bare minimum, states have a lot more leeway." Take alcohol regulations... Prohibition was repealed, but States still can make their own regulations and differ on various blue laws and whatnot..

And thanks for noticing the ideal solution.. It's good we agree on the basic principles, it's just how best to translate them into dealing with the here and now that's in question..

Yeah, I see the confusion

Yeah, I see the confusion there. I just thought his post was well-written, so I replied to it without thinking that it was a reply to yours. Sorry about that.

Non GMO

The company Lundberg labels their food "Non-GMO", so we need to support them. I went to albersons and I baught their organic brown rice cakes and I noticed the "non GMO Project" label on it.

Try to understand Liberty! Please

How many times has Ron Paul said that there will be more regulations in a free society, but the regulations will be imposed by the consumers.

If you don't want GMO food and want it to be labeled, you have only one ethical option. Don't buy product that is not labeled.

If you are in favor of this "will of the people" vote, then you are anti the constitution and anti-liberty. You are a democracy majority thug.

How can you fight for Ron Paul and understand nothing he says. Liberty is the root.

Not quite true

A legit role of government (IMO) is to protect the lives and liberties of the people.

GMO food definitely has a high potential to injure or even kill people, especially over time.

To require that companies disclose that their product contains substances that may kill or injure others, is hardly thuggish behavior.

_________________________________

Freedom - Peace - Prosperity

Then you don't support Paul.

Then you don't support Paul. He believes the roll of government is to protect Liberty, enforce contracts, and protect against invasion. He says every single day that you should be free to put in your body what you want, even if it is harmful.

The question is not of disclosure. It is of using government thugs to force companies to print GMO on the package.

Disclosure would be if you ask the company "is it made with GMO" and they say no, when it is. Then you have a contract violation.

You also have the right to not purchase products that don't already disclose one way or the other. If consumers care, they will purchase products labeled non-GMO, which will incentivise manufacturers to use non-GMO to increase sales.

The beauty of Liberty.

"He believes the roll of

"He believes the roll of government is to protect Liberty, enforce contracts, and protect against invasion." No disagreement there, but there's an underlying commonality. That being Gov'ts only legit role is to protect rights.

Remember this part of the Declaration of Independence?

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men...

That last part says governments job is to protect rights. Period. Protecting Liberty, enforcing contracts, and protecting against invasion all have to do with protecting the rights to Life (defense) Liberty (Life and Liberty) and Contracts has to do with property which was there originally but was edited to say pursuit of happiness.

It's my opinion that a mandate to label GMO foods as such has plenty to do with the right to Life (due to health effects) and possibly even to enforcing contracts since there is an unspoken contract involved. I'm agreeing to buy something based on the best information available. If that information (labels) is incomplete or flat out lies then one very well might be able to make a case that a contract has been broken.

To be blunt, you're what's

To be blunt, you're what's destroying America. It is not your Right to have someone else serve you. If you don't like what they are doing, it is your Right to not interact with them.

Your view is quite insulting to you. It states that you are a pawn among men, who determine your world for you. That is the reason you believe they are "imposing" on you, because you have no ability to determine for yourself. Well, you do have that ability. And if you use it, your self esteem will grow.

Don't kid yourself thinking you are a son of Liberty, unless you mean distant son who has lost his way.

You said in a prior post reasonable people can disagree. Not on Liberty. Not in my country. You thugs want everything handed to you. Your logic is deeply flawed. You've had a number of DPaul people enlighten you, now go do a little work yourself.