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What is the Libertarian Stance on Mandatory Labeling?

What is the Libertarian Stance on Mandatory Labeling?

Skip to minute 55:00 to listen to the debate. Joel Salatin takes the bull by the horns and destroys the debate.


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Phxarcher87's picture

I bought

GMO FREE mayonnaise from whole foods the other day and compared it to the old bottle in the fridge of best foods mayonnaise.

The Whole Foods mayo had 7grams of mono saturated fat compared to 2 grams in the Best Foods mayo.

Those fats are the same found in olives and avocado brain healthy fats.

Not to mention it just tasted so much more rich. WIN WIN vote with your buckarooos.

"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect" - Mark Twain

It is fraud to sell known toxic food as safe and healthy.

It's pure deception.

Libertarians don't have to be settle for for being the victims, in order to protect their oppressors rights to victimize them.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

Case study on this subject.

Prop 37(mandatory GMO labeling) failed to pass in California last year. I was disappointed because it sounds like a good idea on the surface. But the gov. would appoint Monsanto people to oversee the effort. That would be a big fail.

Instead what happened is that the local health food stores I go to started to put RED labels on all GMO foods.

What happened? Retailers saw the passionate desire for healthy eaters to have their food labeled GMO. So the market listened and responded. No need to pass a law. Call it free market or a grassroots effort but we got the result we wanted.

So this would not have happened if Prop 37 was not put forward. So I thank those people for help in bringing light to this issue.

Deep down everyone is Libertarian.
Live and Let Live, form of government.

only problem with your theory is this

FDA is also preventing companies that label their food as "Non-GMO."

Bam. Free market doesn't work in fascist countries.

This is the game changer isn't it?

I did not know this, This throws the free-market theory right out the door. In this case, yes to labeling so that at least Non-GMO can also label as such. Thank you, this makes a huge difference.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

USDA already wastes the salaries of 105,778 employees June 2007

That's 243 employees for each congressional district.

De-commision this batch of parasites and save $129 billion.

In the mean-time kick up some noise about local state's attorneys prosecuting trespass and fraud.

Be wary of local regulations that protect the criminals.

In Michigan, pharmaceutical companies cannot be sued for the deaths caused by their products.

Free includes debt-free!

If a producer wants to make a product without a GMO label...

...and consumers want to buy it, the government has absolutely no right to interfere with that voluntary exchange. In general, the government has no right to outlaw the sale of a product because it doesn't meet some quality standard set by the government.

In a free society, there are two factors which regulate product quality:

1) Consumer demand (if people don't like it, they won't buy it)

2) Producer liability for tort and fraud (if a producer misleads a customer about the nature of the product, he is liable for fraud; if a product actually harms a customer, the producer may be liable for compensation)

This is all you need.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

What if the producers wants to ignore, and hide all the studies

which show the known dangers from consumers. And then lie and deceive by saying it's safe. It's one thing to sell without knowledge, it's another to deceive with full knowledge.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

The producer is liable if...

(1) The product actually caused harm


(2) The producer knew or reasonably should have known that the product could cause such harm


(3) The buyer did not knowingly assume the risk

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

FYI, The producer is not liable when

The producer has been granted immunity or is providing a government sanctioned product. as in the examples listed below.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

So then the problem is... (wait for it)


And the solution is...(wait for it)


(not create additional regulatory powers)

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

Wow, I had no idea you were so smart!

Please let me know when your solution gets implemented.

In the mean time we will just wait for the government to dismantle itself.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

Wow, I had no idea you were so dishonest!

You are misrepresenting what I said. I did not say wait for the government to "dismantle itself," I said get the government out of the business of granting immunity to producers. Why is that unrealistic? If we can pass a bill requiring them to label their products, why can't we pass a bill revoking their immunity? :-? It seems that you actually prefer an expansion of government regulatory power, even though there is a free market solution available.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."



"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

So how is that theory working?

How is that theory working with the following examples?
and GMOs?
Why do you think GMOs are outlawed in so many other countries?
Do any of the studies which have been done worldwide have any validity?

Just asking.

"A vote for the lesser of two evils is a vote to keep things the same", Buckminster Fuller..
A choice for liberty is always a choice for liberty.

what if the producer wants to lie about the contents?

either directly or by intentional omission? (eg, ingredients: 100% organic, grass-fed, cow when it is actually 99% cow who eats sludge and is injected with hormones) or maybe to a lesser degree (eg, ingredients: cow, when it is 50/50 turkey.) or just not have any label saying what it is.

would any of these instances potentially be a case for fraud? and if so, do you support fraud laws? if not, are you a self-proclaimed anarchist? if not, what makes you not one?

add: i am also curious if you would support a law that would put term limits on city-council members?

Lying about a product's contents would be fraud

A company has no obligation to provide any information whatsoever about their product, but whatever information they do provide must be accurate to the best of their knowledge, otherwise they're committing fraud.

do you support fraud laws?


are you a self-proclaimed anarchist?

Yes. Anarchists are not against law, we are against putting the state (an aggressive monopoly) in charge of enforcing the law.

"Alas! I believe in the virtue of birds. And it only takes a feather for me to die laughing."

I see

So you believe the non-aggression principal exempts a company (fictitious entity) of having to disclose ingredients to the general public. Meanwhile, you have no problem excerting aggression upon people (actual living, breathing people) who have defrauded others?

Interesting strategy.

Can you not see that, at the end of the day, one cannot enforce fraud laws and carry out the penalties without using aggression?

It is precisely this manner of treating the corporation like a God while treating your neighbor as a peon that I refer to as doublethink. This is a contradiction of itself and makes a mockery of Liberty.

As a self-described anarchist, how do you justify using aggression on people but not on a corporation? Also I wonder how you could conclude that intentionally omitting critical information to public health is not a form of lying? Do you know what fraud means?

There are already laws for mislableing with intent to harm

I'm not the smartest card in the deck, but I see no need to put a red sticker or mandetary lable GMO. If the lable does not say 100% Organic, it's not. The anti-GMO collective is vindictive, which is not a good place to come from when making laws.

Finally listened to this

Joel killed it. Mercola is what we call a "useful idiot": well-meaning, but hood-winked by his belief in the benevolent State.

Who does Mercola think will end up running a GMO Labeling Oversight Committee? Some Monsanto stooge.

In any case, I do like both guys and I love how civil the whole debate was.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

How are you statists going to enforce it???

At the end of the day, are you going to force a small farmer who is selling food that he grew to label it, if someone is willing to buy it from him without a label?

How are you going to force him to do that? With a gun called the state?

Is it fraud if both voluntarily engage in the transaction?


I get a little conflicted about things like this.

But if there is one thing that Government should be used for, it would be in the prosecution of fraud. Proper labeling insures me that what I purchased is what I got. If it is not, there is fraud, and I have a claim.

If the label says raisins, and I got textured, flavored rodent droppings, I am cheated. This is a truth in labeling issue.

I think Governments should abstain from labeling restrictions, so that labels can openly appeal to various market segments. That is true competition. This is an example of government overreach and crony capitalist policies. It seems that there would need to be a minimum labeling standard, and additional labeling should be unregulated.

A great example of labeling efforts would be efoods. Have you ever seen their labels? Icons to warn/inform you about all kinds of conditions their foods meet. If their system were in widespread use, these icons would become more highly recognizeable and you could, at a glance, know if a food contained items objectionable to you.

Doublethink libertarians

The ones that got the most love around DP during CA's proposition was from anarchist who wouldn't even vote themselves out of slavery if it meant telling a fascist corporation how to run their business.

These people don't even support fraud laws, citing the non-aggression principle. The fact is, that anti-gmo-lablers around here suffer from doublethink, where jails are acceptable but labeling food is somehow an act of aggression. Corporations aren't even real people, mind you. they are fake. make-believe. pretend. imaginary. fantasy. fictitious.

If these people were actually consistent with their beliefs then they would actually vote AGAINST "term-limits" on government (because, you see, that is an act of aggression on a senator, get it?)

The doublethink comes when they are minarchist when it comes to telling government how to behave - but total laissez-anarchist when it comes to telling corporations on how to behave. They flip it on/off like a switch, and you can ALWAYS count on the doublethink-libertarian to support the view of the corporotocracy.

Governments create the coorperations and the special priviges

Governments create the corporations and the special privileges that are granted after the corp. is created. Government is the problem. Not the fiction that it creates.

What anarcho-capitalist have you met who believes jails are ok, elected officials are ok?

You are projecting your beliefs onto us. Assuming we share some of your beliefs, and then getting frustrated when something else we believe doesn't have coherence. Well of course it doesn't, in the framework you put it in!!! Duh!!!

You better be careful though. You start looking deeper into this anarcho-capitalist thing and you might trip and fall into another rabbit hole.


You better be careful

giving the title "libertarians" as all "anarcho-capitalists."

not all libertarians are anarchists (duh)

my post was clearly airmed at what I describe as "doublethink libertarians" who change their morals around and apply them differently depending on the circumstances.

I pretty much have no problem with anarchists who are consistent in their beliefs and how they apply them. I also enjoy company with minarchists who are consistent.

I agree with Joel Salatin

that Federal vs. State labeling makes all the difference in the debate. It should be fought at the state and personal (empowerment) level (know your farmer, know your food).

What a joke "Mandatory Labeling"

I am a fool but, this seems simple to me... the problem is the current "Mandatory Labels" are fraudulent!

Is corn and GMO corn the same product?
-if you answer yes... do some research or just keep enjoying your GMOs
-if you answer no... Why is it OK to sell 1 product to consumers and call it something else?

A patented product and a natural plant are not the same, by definition of a patent... The FDA ALREADY has "Mandatory Labeling" on most "food". I want to know why the FDA thinks it's OK for food companies to sell consumers 1 product while calling it something else. Isn't this simply fraud?

If consumers are educated enough to prefer non-GMO

then producers and retailers have an incentive to label non-GMO food as non-GMO, and food that is unlabeled is then at a disadvantage.

For example, Trader Joe has a non-GMO policy on their Trader-Joe-branded products:
(To be fair, there's some skepticism about that http://foodbabe.com/2013/08/07/what-is-trader-joes-hiding/)

But the bottom line is that if consumers are educated about the issues and prefer non-GMO, mandatory labeling isn't needed.

If I understand Salatin's argument (starting at 55:00) he's saying that *given that the FDA exists* and that by law the FDA is responsible for labeling, then their current labeling policies are inconsistent, and consistency would require that they require GMO labeling. That's a valid argument but it's an answer to a different question. It's not answering the question of whether or not (from a libertarian pov) mandatory labeling is justified. It's answering the question of whether, given the existence of the FDA and the laws that define what the FDA is required to do, the FDA should add GMOs to the list of things that they require to be disclosed on labels. In that context I agree with him.

depends ...mandatory by who?

mandatory by a voluntarily entered into contract/agreement? that is fine
mandatory by some group enforcing it with violence where there has been no voluntarily entered into contract/agreement? not fine

Why not just have an independent database?

You download an app, you go to the store, you pick up an item, you scan the UPC code, and the app tells you whether it includes GMO ingredients. This way, no need to get the grubby fingers of the State involved.

We should look for free market solutions to this.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson