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I oppose government mandated GMO labelling as it is not a libertarian or fiscally conservative position

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.

EDIT: As of right now (which is only 14 hours after making this post), I am down voted -7 and have a number of negative comments below, including one which is very rude. This is despite the fact that what I have written above is a direct quote from Ron Paul himself. I think this just shows how much so many people oppose Ron Paul's words when they don't apppear to be coming out of Ron Paul's mouth.

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Labeling foods as GMO is

Labeling foods as GMO is pointless, however, there is a specific market in labeling foods NON-GMO. Organic food companies have customers to please, etc. This is what the (GMO) food companies are opposed to.

No.7's picture

If the FDA didn't exist I'd agree with you

However, I believe GMO labeling is simply asking them to do their unconstitutional job. They can't even violate the Constitution right.... silly Government

The individual who refuses to defend his rights when called by his Government, deserves to be a slave, and must be punished as an enemy of his country and friend to her foe. - Andrew Jackson

Federal government, GMOs and consumer rights

Libertarians wish to prohibit fraud. GMOs have been perfected to the extent that they look, taste, and smell the same as real food. Without labelling, you could not tell the difference, and would expose yourself (and anyone who consumed the "food") to possible harm. You are being induced to purchase the GMO food under false pretences, and that is something that even libertarians say that law may prohibit.

While the enforcement of fraud prohibition is ideally a local or provincial (State) matter, the fact that said 'food' often traverses State boundries between production, storage, and retail sale requires an inspection or enforcement apparatus that is interstate in nature. Unfortunately, I suppose the Federal government(with its far too frequently abused "interstate commerce" regulation clause in the Constitution comes in.

The second excuse for Federal involvement comes from the fact that the market for GMO 'foods' is itself (through Federal research grants, lab facilities, and patent law) a government creation. Upon setting the privilege, both scientific and legal, for the markets of GMO 'foods', the government has a responsibility--almost never fulfilled in practice-to set conditions for the exercise of said privileges, so that safety and efficacy are maintained and that consumers are provided with informed consent.

I welcome any suggestions of how a deeply flawed government, and its regulatory and court apparatus can be replaced by far better private means, but in the absence of such private means, prohibition of fraud, misrepresentation, and the primacy of consumer safety is still a valid government function, even among libertarians, and must be undertaken as effectively as possible.

Unrepentant anarchist that I am, my fingers are getting ready to fall off printing this post, so I'll stop here.


"The worst thing that can happen to a good cause is not to be attacked successfully, it is to be defended badly". F. Bastiat

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, finally they attack you, and then you win"! Mohandas Gandhi

Is food labelling in the constitution?

Nope. Hence, out of scope and authority for the feds.

That said, constitutionally speaking, it is perfectly acceptable to mandate it at a state level.

Please stop making the Liberty movement look bad.

Quote: "I oppose government mandated GMO labelling as it is not a libertarian or fiscally conservative position."

That might be one of the most asinine comments that I have read in awhile. And a very good reason why so many people view the Libertarian movement is just a bunch of whacko nut jobs. As far as the direct quote thing is concerned, I really do hate to break it to you, but Ron Paul isn't God. Ron Paul makes mistakes and errors just like every other human does. He is just a man. Please don't attempt to deify him. As my old foreman used to say: "good man, good man, but who the hell needs a good man?"

Ron Paul is my favorite politician. He has the ability to explain the comments that so many see as a nut job position and make it a reasonable position to the majority of reasonably intelligent people. But if you do not possess that latter ability then my suggestion would be to avoid the former.

Larry in North Carolina
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to not support Ron Paul!

Yes. Agreed. But...

This is not a normal kind of company. It is for all intents and purposes a (global) government corporation. Monsanto lies and deceives with government backing. Sorry, I'm out of time, wish I could write more, I hope you get my drift.

Monsanto, Antitrust Lawsuit

Over it's monopoly of food and seed. NOW!

I know who Monsanto is...

I know who Monsanto is, I know what agent orange did to my friends in Nam and tried to cover it up with the help of the government.


Maybe this is an unpopular opinion...

Maybe this is an unpopular opinion but, I prefer to know if my food contains poison and it would be nice if it was listed on the label. This is not a difficult issue for me.


I don't know...

"...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."

This is already the case with Monsanto as most of their people are in bed with our government right now, as well as regulating agencies that say their food is safe for human consumption.

When they (GMO producers)

When they (GMO producers) beginning growing Organic GMO products (GMO seeds grown by organic growth methods), which is in the VERY near future, you will no longer have ANY way to determine if you are eating GMO or not. There's a lot more to GMO than just simply "Roundup ready", Roundup Ready is only one variety of GMO.

"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

Create your own label.

You don't need the government to tell you if something is organic and non-gmo, a private company can easily do that for you. Great way to create a company that would resolve your problem. If such a company were to give false information, this would tarnish their image and they would go broke and or allow others to enter the market.

Quit thinking that the government is the solution to every problem, it is pathetic.

I'm not one to think that

I'm not one to think that government is the solution to ANY problem. Quite the opposite, government is the CREATION of most of our problems. And this problem is no exception. The end result would be to eliminate Monsanto, that is why they paid so much to stop Prop 37, because prop 37 would be severely damaging to their GMO business. If people knew what they were eating, a large portion would chose something else.

If government were the solution to every problem, we wouldn't be dealing with this to begin with.

"Ehhh, What's ups Doc?" B.Bunny "Scwewy Wabbit!"E. Fudd
People's Awareness Coalition: Deprogramming Sequence

I suspected you were quoting Ron Paul

after I read the first two sentences, specifically the first eight words of the first sentence which is a classic RP saying. But in the same breath he is saying that the unconstitutional federal agencies should blah, blah, blah.

The FDA that he is referring to is unconstitutional and he should rail against them at the same time he is railing against more fed. gov. regulations. I agree with everything RP advocates but he was not clear, concise, and forceful enough in his message during his time in Congress..

The FDA and all the other agencies are our problem but he is willing to let the unconstitutional FDA have Monsanto poison our food but not make them label the GMO products as such because it's unconstitutional!

Government forced labeling is not the solution.

First of all having government involvement in such matters is uncalled for; no defense of life, liberty or property. You may say wait a minute, but my health (life) is in jeapordy. Sure but you don't have to eat that food. No one is forcing you to do it. It is your choice. Secondly do you really believe that those same big companies like monsanto won't find a way to get this system to work for them? They are the government, don't you get it? The whole damn problem is created because of people trying to use the government to accomplish their own personal goals....and you are doing it right now.

TO fix the problem you need to find out what is causing the problem and in this case it is big government. So don't make the problem worse by adding more big government. Instead remove the power of the government which permits companies like monsanto from taking advantage of the system.

California Dodges Bullet

In a rare display of common sense, California voters defeated the mandated GMO labeling law, Proposition 37. The final tally, with 100% of precincts reporting, was 46.9% in favor and 53.1% against. Californians can be thankful that this ill-concieved expansion of governmental interference has been laid to rest, for now.

There has been an enormous amount of disinformation coming from both sides during the campaign, and I'd like to try insert a little reason into the debate.

GMO labeling might make a little sense if: 1. People understood genetic engineering, and 2. We labeled ALL FOOD with information about how it is produced.

To be consistent, we'd need a warning label on anything that was fertilized with fecal matter: "May contain E. coli, which is a dangerous bacteria that can cause severe illness and death."

Organic Super Sweet Corn would need this label: "Carries a genetic mutation induced by radiation mutagenesis." Organic produce treated with the natural pesticide rotenone would be labeled: "May contain trace amounts of rotenone. Chronic exposure can cause liver and kidney damage."

All of the above are true, but none of these agricultural techniques present a significant health risk. To the uninformed though, the labels would make them seem like they do. The point is that labeling a food product with all of the scary sounding production techniques does no good without an understanding of those techniques. We definitely need more education about genetic engineering, but labeling is not education.

Another consideration is the cost, not just for the companies required to do the labeling, but the bureaucracies in charge of enforcing labeling laws. By conservative estimates, between 60% and 70% of all processed foods in our super markets contain GMOs. Not only would labeling increase food prices as food growers and suppliers are forced to comply with the mandate, but taxes would increase to administer the new policy.

Say you're OK with the increased cost or reject that argument altogether. Consider the lesson of Prop 65, another California ballot initiative approved by voters in 1986. That measure ostensibly required warnings on products known to cause cancer or birth defects. Sounds like a good thing on the outside, but a deeper look will find that it has done nothing but line the pockets of lawyers to the tune of tens of millions of dollars.

Prop 65 requires restaurant owners to warn customers that they sell "cancerous products" because they sell olives, bread, chicken, and hundreds of other food items because they contain trace amounts of some substance that caused cancer in a rat at high doses. Never mind that the substances in question occur naturally in those foods. Prop 65 has created the practice of over warning customers just to avoid being sued, so much so that the warnings have become meaningless.

Perhaps the biggest problem with mandated GMO labeling is that it's yet another government mandate. For those who believe in a free market, this should be a no-brainer. If you believe in the free market and reject the nanny state, there is a much better option.

The real obstacle to consumers' right to know is the result of FDA policies that severely restrict how non-GMO products can be promoted and labeled. And the real solution is to require the FDA to allow non-GMO labeling. If there truly were a market for non-GMO products, they would be labeled as such if allowed. As it is now, a certified organic label is a reasonable assurance that the product is GMO free, but that is not enough. Consumers would benefit from non-organic non-GMO foods being labelled as such.

The whole movement to label GMOs is really just a canard anyway. If GMOs are dangerous, they should be banned, not labelled. Considering that we've all been eating them for a couple decades, all insulin is GMO, there is not a single documented death or negative health effect, and the bulk of scientific evidence supports GMO safety, a ban is not in the cards.

Labeling GMOs would provide no positive benefit for the vast majority of people. It will increase food prices, increase taxes, increase headaches for food sellers, and line the pockets of lawyers. Most importantly, labeling without education only encourages fear and ignorance, and decisions based on fear and ignorance are rarely good decisions.


"The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident
which everybody has decided not to see."
— Ayn Rand (The Fountainhead)

Antitrust Lawsuit

should be filed against Monsanto's monopoly

Yes, they should be banned

That doesn't make labeling a canard. It's a weapon, that citizens can use to fight the biotech companies. In this case, control of the government is the battlefield. The companies have completely dominated all levels of government, and public perception. You believe the science is reliable and GMOs are "reasonably" safe, because they have destroyed the researchers who came to a different conclusion, drove them out of their university jobs, and destroyed their reputations. Dissenting science is recent, and still mostly anecdotal.

The marketplace works though, even in science. To combat Monsanto's ruthless tactics against researchers, and incredible success at hiding their activity from the public, Russian scientists are going to conduct the research in public:


This supporter of labeling sees it as a corrective action to restore the free market. Can you imagine a situation where a seemingly anti-libertarian government action actually promotes a free market?

Another comment on this. I

Another comment on this.

I don't see this is as a libertarian issue. Because when other people eat poison, it DOES affect others.

If the food is not labeled, and people who wouldn't buy the food if it were label end up buying it, it affects you. If you believe that GMOs are truly so bad for you, then when other people eat it, they get sick, they go to the hospital, and the drive EVERYONE's costs up.

We don't live in independent bubbles. And health and nutrition, and people eating healthy and nutritiously; that affects everyone. On that note, a libertarian could argue for labeling saying, "I want consumers to know that this food is potentially dangerous, so that they don't end up costing me in the long-run"...at that point, the discussion is removed from principles and becomes about the science behind GMOS, the loopholes in the law, etc.

Now the other question is, using the same logic as above, where does it stop? Because everything does affect others.

I could be against this ban. Because it is worth it to get the government out of my life. OK, eat these unhealthy foods, get sick, go to the hospital, and end up raising costs for everyone. Fine; it is better than having the government getting involved too much.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

So you plagiarized to make a point?

I wonder what Ron would think of that? Next time cite your quotes.

If only the government could swoop in and do some more mandating

Yikes people. It's your job to know where your food comes from and what's in it. I think you want "official" GMO labeling so you can "trust" food from an already untrustworthy source. If someone sells you a GMO potato under the pretense that it's a genuine potato, then it's fraud. Don't do business with fraudsters. There's plenty of local farmers that will take that business. If you can't see it growing or grazing, don't buy it.

I agree with Ron Paul

Ron Paul is right. Just look at what a joke "natural" or "organic" means in food labeling. Natural means literally nothing on products, and organic means at least 95% of the product needs to be organic. What about the other 5%, since most products contain "less the 2% of the following"(which is 2 pages long) organic mean almost nothing.

GMO would be a joke of a label coming from the FDA... With independent PRIVATE companies offering alternatives labels/certificates... WHO NEEDS THE FDA.

You people who down voted OP... You are downvoting RON PAUL's OWN WORDS and by extension are down voting Ron Paul himself.

Tools of war are not always obvious. The worst weapon is an idea planted in the mind of man. Prejudices can kill, suspicion can destroy, and a thoughtless, frightened search for a scapegoat has an everlasting fallout all of its own.

Breaking News. Ron Paul is not God!

Oh dear God. Someone disagreed with Ron Paul's own words. Do you realize how scary that sounds. Repeat after me, Ron Paul is a good and honorable man, but he is still just a man. He is not a God, nor is he a god. He is a very smart politician. NOT A GOD! Get over the worship crap. And in a free society I am allowed to say what I just said. And not one bolt of lightning has struck me down. I guess I was right about RP not being GOD.

Larry in North Carolina
The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to not support Ron Paul!

Current government is the

Current government is the only thing we have to work with at this point. This is not a libertarian philosophical debate this is a matter of causing harm and informing people so they can avoid harm and chose not to ingest poisons and harmful substances...

Since current government will not arrest and try this criminals the least that should be done is to inform people so they can avoid harm!

It may not be a perfect solution but it's a hell of a lot better then allowing people to harm themselves completely unknowingly and raises awareness of the problem...

End The Fat
70 pounds lost and counting! Get in shape for the revolution!

Get Prepared!

Well put,

but the libertarian police here may force you to surrender your Lew Rockwell badge </humor>. I'm starting to see why it's important that local people are free to make mistakes in government. I'd like to see a state make the "mistake" of requiring GE labeling. We would see if it woke people up to what they were eating. Labeling is a late-in-the-game attempt to fight the fight that has been lost at every other level, making "libertarian" solutions impossible.


IF we were living in a country which was free and we were allowed to have our own vege patch/garden and grow our own food then yes I would not care if the government mandated labeling or not. But we live in times were government has basically imposed on us that we have to eat food made by the big companies so in such a situation I would like to know whats the origin of my food. There are laws which prohibit pictures being taken in these "FOOD factories" so clearly they are hiding something.

So in the times we live where there is so much secrecy about the origin of our food I would like least the government can do is mandate that food has labeling so that we know if we are eating GMO or not.

Someone needs to do it. There

Someone needs to do it.
There is a non-gmo group that is trying to get companies to pass off their food through this group and then they get a non-gmo label on the good. Of course, no large companies are taking part. Kashi has most of their cereals approved by them. That's about the biggest name I saw on their website. This could be that they're a small group, or it could be that nobody really makes non-gmo products. o.o

scawarren's picture

It bothers me that this post

It bothers me that this post is at a -5 ! The poster and Dr. Paul are correct . For those who want to vote this down... why would you think the government would make GMO companies do the correct thing when the government is the reason why they are so huge now ! GMO companies would not survive in a true free market .

It is easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled. – Mark Twain


Forced labeling isn't a Libertarian position, but I DO want to buy non-GMO food with non-GMO labeling.

If we're going to bring a politicians gun to bare, I'd rather send it after those who produce GMO crops and pollute our environment with them.

When does common sense

Take precedence over somebody's definition of 'conservatism' or for that matter 'libertarianism'.. adhering to such notions is exactly what is wrong with this country.
Are you content to consume processed food that, in many cases, originated in Asia, or elsewhere, without defined labeling. Food that may not have undergone screening for contamination, infestation or content, and sold to you simply to maximise profit, while holding the stance that your being 'fiscally conservative'.
Feeding unlabelled GMO based foods to children, because your 'libertarian', and don't consider mandated disclosure a part of your philosophy.

You either support 37 or you support RP's view, or both, but it means getting active on both stances..simply doing nothing, other than to hold a view, is to condone the proliferation of contaminated food.



"Hell is empty, and all the devils are here" (Shakespeare)
RP 2012~ Intellectual Revolution.