51 votes

Rand Paul Was Right to Vote Against Mandatory GMO Labeling

Rand Paul’s recent NO vote on a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods is causing quite a stir in the Ron Paul community. Over at the Daily Paul, a very heated exchange is underway including comments like,

He (Rand Paul) is a disaster and votes like this drive good Americans away from the Liberty movement...

Another trusted libertarian site, The Humble Libertarian, posted the following,

"As if Rand Paul’s credibility with liberty activist isn’t already badly tarnished, he voted NO on a bill to require GMO food labeling. This is a very important issue and an issue that crosses party lines. Folks have an 'absolute right' (emphasis mine) to know what they are eating."

Read more: http://iroots.org/2012/06/23/was-rand-paul-right-to-vote-aga...

An “absolute right,” seriously?

When did the federal government gain such a great track-record that we would trust them to tell us when food items are safe? This might be a good time to remember just why Dr. Paul earned that nickname of “Dr. No.” (Here’s a hint. He didn’t get it by voting for feel-good legislation in the name of “safety.”) I’m unaware if Ron Paul has commented on this issue recently, but I see no reason to believe he has reversed his position since providing the following comments to vote-tx.org in 2008,

"The federal government lacks constitutional authority to mandate labeling of products containing genetically-modified food. Furthermore, those who do not wish to consume genetically-modified products should be leery of federally-mandated labeling because history shows that federal regulatory agencies are susceptible to ‘capture,’ where the regulators end up serving the interest of the business they are supposed to control. In the case of labeling, federal agencies could redefine the meaning of ‘modified’ to allow genetically-engineered food on the market without fully-informing consumers of the presence of genetically- engineered ingredients. Instead of federal regulation, consumers should demand that manufactures provide full information and refuse to buy those products that are not fully labeled. Once producers see there is a demand for non-genetically-engineered products they will act to fulfill that demand. Of course, makers of genetically-engineered food should be held legally responsible if they fraudulently market their products or harm anyone." - Ron Paul

Read more: http://iroots.org/2012/06/23/was-rand-paul-right-to-vote-aga...

(Before commenting or voting up/down, please go and read the entire article--including the video from Token Libertarian Girl and some proactive free-market solutions...)

UPDATE: Rand Paul recently linked to this article (up at www.iroots.org ) and added the following statement.

"I am an opponent of the FDA's war on natural foods and farmers. I've stood up for raw milk, hemp and natural supplements. I fought to take power AWAY from the government on these issues. So while there is evidence we should be concerned about GMOs, we should also be careful not to lose our constitutional perspective simply because the end result is one we may desire. That's what we fight against. That's what the statists do. Take a loot at a pretty thorough rundown on the recent GMO amendment. There were many more problems with it, including the potential the FDA could have assumed broad new rulemaking authority if this badly written amendment had passed."

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Good luck growing this

Good luck growing this movement with purist tests like that. If you disagree on one issue, we don't think you are part of our team. You may also want to go back and look at what the founders said about corporations and how corporations were treated, as creatures of the state, for the first century of this country's existence.

We have to achieve a delicate balance when it comes to corporations. Have no regulations and they can use achieve a monopoly in certain cases and run rough shot over the people. Example being the Pinkertons shooting protesting workers during the early union days when the unions did do a few good things. Have many regulations and don't be careful of who is voted into office and who enters the administrative state, and it can be turned into fascism. The balance lays in the middle.

Confusion about corporations

Your history is off. Laws typically have the effect of favoring existing corporations, such as the Pinkertons. The Pinkertons grew because government officials hired them, e.g. Abraham Lincoln and later the DOJ. Also, many of the companies that hired the Pinkertons were government-favored companies, such as the railroads which received huge amounts of government subsidy and funding.

Referencing my below comment

and to put it in plainer English:

People can eat dog shit for all I care, but they ought to know if they are eating dog shit...

But does the government have to tell them

what dog s_ is and warn them not to eat dog s_?

I disagree

Read the amendment language as it is a reiteration of the 10th Amendment as it PERMITS state to require labeling, it does not REQUIRE labeling. Currently, by law, states cannot label these products from corporations playing God by putting hog DNA into soybeans. This is an abomination and needs to be stopped!

Free markets require transparency and an informed consumer. To hide this "poison" from your family is the result of more corporatism from Big Brother and Big Agribusiness.

The amendment reads:

To permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient.

You didn't even read the rest of the bill/amendment did you?

The "purpose" stated, isn't what is important. It's the actual legally binding parts. You've been conned.

The states already can have such labeling laws if they wish, the amendment Rand voted against would have simply given more power to the FDA. Read section "e".

(e) Regulations.--Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commissioner of Food and Drugs and the Secretary of Agriculture shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to carry out this section.

I see no reason a state can

I see no reason a state can not pass a law requiring food to be labeled if NYC can pass laws to ban trans-fats. I don't believe this bill is needed.

Well, it's been YEARS and the states have done NOTHING,

Times up. Their cowardice is justifying a strong Federal government. The states failed to protect consumers.

you can't be serious!!! I

you can't be serious!!! I don't need you or the government trying to save me from anything.

Help me govt, help meeeeeee

I don't want to die from eating GMO foods.

Even though this food is labeled GMO-Free, and this other one is labeled Organic, I will choose to eat the unlabeled food. Yum, yum.

Nothing better than eating an unlabeled hotdog--probably made of GMO horse hooves and a dozen different animal meats acquired from road kill. Yum, yum :P

I believe Vermont tried it

I believe Vermont tried it but was threatened by the parasites at Monsanto with a long and costly legal fight.

I believe we are missing the old senate, when the legislatures voted on who to send and who would represent the states, than what we have now. Vermont could have went to the other states and tried to build a coalition to act within their own states and to stand up against the parasites. The old senate was a sounding board between the states, as well as voting on federal legislation, providing advise and consent, etc.

OMG you're such a nanny-stater

it's both pathetic and scary. Consumers protect consumers. Worry about your damn self. Stop trying to tell me what I should eat. That's my F'n business. How the hell did you ever find your way onto this site?

NOTHING JUSTIFIES "A STRONG FEDERAL GOVERNMENT". Reading that on here makes me want to puke.

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself." - Thomas Jefferson

He's just a troll.

Read his comments on his post re: this same amendment/bill. It's just more "Rand concern" trolling. He's obviously just here to start trouble.


for clarifying this for those who think Rand is out to get us all.

The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.
-Thomas Paine

F'n Duh!

As hard as I've been on Rand these last few weeks (and I've been pretty hard and I don't take any of it back), anyone who has a problem with Rand not wanting to have the government force anyone to do anything is a traitorous ignoramus. They clearly don't understand the free market, and how interventionism (whether it's through regulation of any sort or whatever) is bad, stupid, and evil. The do-gooders giving Rand grief on this issue need to go read a book and stop being so paternalistic.

"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself." - Thomas Jefferson

So if supporters of this are

So if supporters of this are traitors, what does that make Rand for voting for economic war against Iran through sanctions? Ron says sanctions are an act of war. Again, these absolute purist tests will ensure our defeat. We can disagree with each other, but these if you don't agree with me, your against the freedom movement, frankly sounds like the tactics Hannity uses.

Link to previous conversation on this topic

More on this topic can be found here:


Tweeting occasionally as himself @cudnoski on the twitter.

This is correct

This is correct, the government shouldn't mandate labels, and they also should not mandate no labeling which is also something they are pursuing. Consumers want to know, and there are some companies who wish to comply but have been prevented from doing so. The problem is the government is actively working to prevent voluntary labeling and other countries decision to label.

Basically companies should be allowed to label if they want to. Consumer demand for non-GMO would have the same effect in the end.

SteveMT's picture

Labeling requirements by the government are not new.

To be consistent with previous legislation,
Plant Biotechnology for Food and Feed
FDA's Biotechnology Policy

In the Federal Register of May 29, 1992 (57 FR 22984), FDA published its "Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties" (the 1992 policy). The 1992 policy clarified the agency's interpretation of the application of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act with respect to human foods and animal feeds derived from new plant varieties and provided guidance to industry on scientific and regulatory issues related to these foods. The 1992 policy applied to all foods derived from all new plant varieties, including varieties that are developed using recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (rDNA) technology. This site refers to foods derived from plant varieties that are developed using rDNA technology as "bioengineered foods."

Labeling & Nutrition
Food Labeling and Nutrition Overview

These FDA Food Labeling web pages address the labeling requirements for foods under the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act and its amendments. Food labeling is required for most prepared foods, such as breads, cereals, canned and frozen foods, snacks, desserts, drinks, etc. Nutrition labeling for raw produce (fruits and vegetables) and fish is voluntary. We refer to these products as "conventional" foods. For detailed information on dietary supplements, a special category of products that comes under the general umbrella of foods, but which has separate labeling requirements, see "dietary supplements."*

Your exactly right! i think

Your exactly right! i think this site becomes a little more socialist/progressive every day :/

I think it's a lot of the same person...

Using proxies... with a handful of long time users who are gullible falling for the troll's lead.

Freetoroam is for one obviously a troll and not here to add any sort of reasonable discussion. He's here to cause trouble and nothing more.