Sen. Bernie Sanders called out Monsanto for killing his amendment that would have given states the power require GMOs to be labeled on our food.
Ed Schultz: I want to focus now on GMOs. your amendment to let states label GMOs, genetically modified organisms was voted down. Why don’t more senators get on board with this recognizing the danger involved here?
Sen. Bernie Sanders: Well, here’s what the story is. I think all over this country. people want to know the quality of the food they’re eating and what they’re giving to their kids is good quality. We just don’t know all that much about genetically modified food. So my amendment was a pretty conservative amendment. It said in states like Vermont and Connecticut and other states where legislatures are voting for labeling on food products that have GMO product, let them go forward. Monsanto and the other companies saying states can’t do it. It is a federal prerogative. My amendment said if California, Vermont, Connecticut, other states want to go forward, they should have the right. What we know is that all over Europe. we’ve got dozens and dozens of countries which do label GMO products. we should be able to do that in the United States as well.
Sen. Sanders offered an amendment that was championing states’ rights. He wasn’t trying to have the federal government dictate to the states that they have to label GMOs. His amendment was designed to take that decision out of federal hands, if it even belongs there, and give it to the states. His amendment should have passed the Senate with flying colors. Instead, it was voted down 29-71. The biggest surprise of all was that more Democrats (28) voted against the amendment than voted for it (24). Liberal/progressive heroes Sherrod Brown. Elizabeth Warren, and Al Franken all voted against the amendment.
At the time, Sanders placed the blame on companies like Monsanto, “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.”
This should not be a controversial issue. People should have the right to know exactly what is in their food, and states should have the right to require that this information be made available to consumers on labels. This would be a win for everybody, except the biotech and food corporations who spend millions of dollars lobbying Congress.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association