After the Senate rejected an amendment that would have let states require labels on food or beverages made with genetically modified ingredients, Sen. Bernie Sanders called them out.
After seeing his amendment rejected by a vote of 29-71, Sen. Sanders (I-VT) said, “An overwhelming majority of Americans favor GMO labeling but virtually all of the major biotech and food corporations in the country oppose it. Today’s vote is a step forward on an important issue that we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”
The amendment, which was co-sponsored by Democratic Senators Mark Begich (D-AK) Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), would have given states the clear authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering. The troubling thing for liberals and progressives is that more Democrats voted against the bill (28) than voted for it (24). (Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska was the lone Republican to vote for the amendment, because Republicans as a general rule believe that actually knowing what is in your food is big government.) Usual progressive voices Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown voted against the amendment, while corporate Democrat Chuck Schumer voted for it.
It is common sense that people have the right to know what they are putting in their bodies. This isn’t about telling anyone what to eat, but offering people the freedom and information that will allow them to know more about what they are eating. The number of no votes for the Sanders amendment on the Democratic side illustrates how much the Senate has been infected with the corporate agenda.
If GMOs are so harmless, why do the biotech and food corporations oppose labeling them?
Sen. Sanders saw progress in this vote, but real progress will come when the Democratic caucus stops subscribing to the corporate agenda on GMOs, and supports giving the American people access to the truth about what is in their food. China, which used lead paint in children’s toys, requires GMO labeling, but the land of the free and home of the brave does not.
Until we get the corporate money out of politics Americans will never be what they eat, because they’ll have no idea what’s in their food.