(NaturalHealth365) While hundreds stormed Washington D.C. in opposition of a bill that would block GMO labeling laws, only four among them were allowed into the bill’s first hearing in front of the House Energy & Commerce subcommittee on Health. The lack of opportunity for public protest of the bill was a clear indication of the stranglehold that powerful food industry conglomerates have put on public outcry.
About 600 consumers and farmers arrived at the Rayburn building on December 10, with about 100 there in time to line up for one of 52 available spots at the hearing. However, all but four pro-labeling advocates would be turned away from the hearing.
Monsanto uses young students to block GMO labeling laws
Why so few seats for public opinion? For the most part, seats were already pre-occupied by people paid to hold them by pro-Monsanto lobbyists, including not only Monsanto corporation representatives but members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) and similar groups. Many of those paid were students, hired by Monsanto, the GMA or pro-Monsanto lobbyists.
The result was a hearing that amounted to no more than a large corporate gathering (not a debate) – discussing the supposed ‘safety’ of America’s food system, with their opinions regurgitated by subcommittee members. The United States political system is no more than a dog and pony show.
Federal measures are being initiated to kill the GMO labeling movement
The bill, H.R. 4432, would strip states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws, among other things. Proposed laws would be designed to keep consumers informed, and identify food products that are genetically modified or contained GMO ingredients. Labeling proponents point out that such laws would provide consumers with the opportunity to make informed decisions, but many such laws would not even go so far as to halt the sale of GMO products.
What should have been an opportunity for public opinion to be heard soon turned into a pro-industry tirade by hearing attendees as well as subcommittee members. Monsanto’s supporters repeatedly made claims that GMOs were safe, and therefore, labeling unnecessary.
Many went on to say that labeling would pose a threat to the profitability of Monsanto and other large food conglomerates – a scenario they apparently held in greater regard than the safeguarding of the rights of consumers to know what they are putting into their family’s mouths.
The American food supply is under attack and most Americans have no idea
Pro-GMO corporations are known to have already spent more than $100 million to ensure consumers are kept in the dark about the truth regarding GMO ingredients. Although the bill has struggled somewhat to gain Democratic sponsors, those from both sides of the aisle were acting as mouthpieces for Monsanto at the hearing. Those few who were in attendance to refute such points were quickly shut down, bullied or dismissed.
Among those controlling the show were Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), who denied that H.R. 4432 would leave consumers misinformed, although in reality the bill unequivocally prevents states from passing GMO labeling laws. Pompeo introduced the industry-backed bill and said, “there is nothing in this legislation that denies any consumer in any capacity the right to know precisely what it is the food they’re eating.”
Pompeo stated he will reintroduce the bill in January, hoping to gain passage in the next session, betting on Democrats warming up to the measure. Reaction of the subcommittee members was a clear signal that the bill is poised to gain more momentum next year.
The anti-GMO movement is rapidly growing across the nation
Meanwhile, grassroots opposition to ban labeling and the use of GMO foods, in general, is immense and widespread. On May 24, 2014, millions from around the globe orchestrated a protest against GMOs in the food supply. Dubbed as the “March Against Monsanto”, the protest called for healthier food and better corporate transparency – particularly from the largest food corporations.
The event involved 400 cities across 52 nations and six continents, including 47 states in the U.S. The goal of the protest was to raise support and awareness for a permanent boycott of all GMOs and agro-chemicals. Together, we can eliminate the threat of GMOs in the very near future.
The next “March Against Monsanto” rally is scheduled for May 23, 2015. Join the movement – click here for details.
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