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Senate Shoots Down GMO Labeling Bill

Elizabeth Renter
May 24th, 2013
Updated 05/07/2014 at 11:07 pm
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senate gmo labeling 263x164 Senate Shoots Down GMO Labeling BillIn yet another showing of their lack of concern towards the people who give them their jobs, Senators in Washington D.C. voted against a key GMO labeling amendment to the Farm bill. One that would have allowed states to decide to label the presence of genetically modified ingredients in food products.

They didn’t just vote it down, they did it overwhelmingly: 71 to 27. Let’s be clear—this wasn’t a bill that would have mandated the labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients. No, it was far less provocative. This measure would have simply said it was okay for states to decide to do that for themselves.

“The concept we’re talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea,” said the amendment’s sponsor, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) according to the Huffington Post. “All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms.”

Vermont and more-recently Connecticut have both decided to label foods in their state. But they are concerned big-wigs like Monsanto will sue, particularly in light of this failure of a decision in the Senate.

One of the many senators who voted against what would seem to be commonsense and non-radical, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says that labeling GMO foods runs counter to what we “know” about them. This knowledge, she says, is that GMO foods are safe, no more dangerous than their “conventional counterparts.”

Apparently ignoring any of the research that runs to the contrary of that being put out by Monsanto-supporters, Sen. Stabenow talks about GMO crops as if they are the answer to the world’s prayers. That they are able to “resist crop diseases and improve nutritional content.” Stabenow and others like her must be getting their briefs directly from those within Monsanto itself.

Even more telling about where her (and others like her) allegiances lie, Stabenow said labeling GMO ingredients would “interfere with the FDA’s science-based process to determine what food labeling is necessary for consumers.” In other words, if it doesn’t come from Monsanto or the FDA, she doesn’t want to hear it.

She doesn’t want to hear about the study that showed GMO-fed rats developed mass tumors and died premature deaths. Senators like her don’t seem to care that research has shown GMO corn to be a contributor to the obesity epidemic. Apparently, studies linking GMO crops to lung damage, cancer, organ damage, and immune suppression aren’t “good enough” for the FDA, so they aren’t “good enough” for lawmakers.

The fact is, most processed foods on our store shelves contain GMO ingredients (usually corn or soy). Another fact, most conscientious consumers would like to know which foods are safe and which are not. But, with their decision to not grant states the right to decide for themselves, lawmakers have shown us (once again) where their loyalties lie.

From around the web:

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  • Greg

    YES, Do not vote for the slime-bags who are not in favor of labeling. None will get my vote!

  • Big M

    First, anybody who votes in federal elections is worse than an idiot or an a**hole. They are empowering the criminals who are bent on destroying this country.

    Second, what else would anybody have expected out of these slime in DC? Refer to the above paragraph.

    Third, labeling GMO's is little other than controlled opposition. The goal — THE ONLY GOAL — should be to completely BAN this crap, as many COUNTRIES have already done. Anything less is pissing into a stiff wind.


  • Joseph

    Blasted both my reps for voting against it. They can either do what's right or I can exercise my rights and vote their butts out of office. I told them that too!

  • Anaxamander

    The opening sentence misstates the situation. Congresscritters DO represent the interests of the people who "give them their jobs". Those people just ain't us!

  • Deborah Merlin

    Here is the link to how the senators voted

  • anonymous

    Wonder if all this back and forth is to keep the states and local cities from a total refusal of Monsanto/GMO’s – the volley of distraction could go on forever.
    Plus, the govt WANTS to regulate and control the food chain, not set you free. USDA and FDA (raw food raids, small farm raids, personal garden raids) area already corrupted and compromised.

    Remember, your own city, county, town and state can BAN and totally refuse Monsanto
    and genetically engineered foods for good (bypassing the soft approach and already corrupted FDA and USDA). Mendocino County in CA completely banned and refused any GMO plants, food and animals in their own County. And Santa Cruz in WA has followed by their own Local initiative on ballots.
    We need to kick Monsanto out – town by town, city by city and not allow them to co-exist at all in your own local neighborhoods and adjacent to our pure food supplies, land and farms. WE need to kick them out completely. No compromise. It’s time.
    State and Local Victories in Banning GMO’s.
    OREGON: GMO Free Jackson County: Makes it unlawful for any person to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically engineered plants in Jackson County.” A video about the effort can be found here:
    GMO Bans in Effect
    City GMO Restriction: In the City of Boulder, it is illegal to plant GMOs on public land. The City is the largest land owner in the city, with approximately 40, 000 acres under its control.
    San Juan County: Washington was able to pass what is known as Initiative Measure No. 2012-4, which actually bans the growth of genetically modified organisms within the county.
    Town GMO Ban: On March 25, 2006 the town of Montville approved a resolution that declared itself a GMO free zone. “Montville Bans Genetically Modified Seeds,” Bangor Daily News, 27 March 2006
    County Yes No Prohibited
    Mendocino 57% 43% Yes
    Marin 61% 39% Yes
    Butte 39% 61% No
    Humboldt 35% 65% No
    San Luis Obispo 41% 58% No
    Sonoma 44% 56% No
    County GMO Ban: Measure H passed by voters (March 2004) in Mendocino County which states that “it shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically modified organisms in Mendocino County.” (Measure has yet to be codified)
    Santa Cruz County, California – Passed by Board of Supervisors (moratorium)
    County GMO Ban: Marin County voted for a measure which states that “it is unlawful for any person or entity to cultivate, propagate, raise or grow genetically modified organisms in Marin County.” (2004)
    County GMO Ban: Trinity County passed Ordinance No. 1284 which states that “it is unlawful for any person to propagate, cultivate, raise, or grow genetically engineered organisms in Trinity County.” Chpt 8.25 of County Code (2004)
    City GMO Ban: City of Arcata City ordinance states that “it is unlawful for any person, partnership, corporation, firm or organization of any kind to sell, distribute, propagate, cultivate, raise or grow seeds or crops of genetically engineered organisms in the City of Arcata…” Ordinance No. 1350 (2004)
    City GMO Ban: Point Arena passed Ordinance No. 193 which states that “it is unlawful for any person, partnership, corporation, firm or organization of any kind to sell, distribute, propagate, cultivate, raise or grow seeds, whole plants, or crops of genetically modified organisms in the City of Point Arena” Chpt 8.25 of City Code (2004)

  • dogitydog

    Try finding any story with life changing significance like this on main stream news. Total blackout. Instead, you will find important news such as "Worlds Largest Lego Masterpiece Unveiled". Apparently that story is more important than something that actually affects all of our lives. What kind of country that represents freedom does not even have the freedom to know what they are eating? I hope the march against Monsanto at least wakes a few people up today. I am guessing that the event will be another media blackout also.

  • deltamom

    An new app, BOYCOTT, has surfaced this month. May 2013. Read about it here
    and download the app at
    Take this app to the grocery store with you, My opinion it is a GREAT tool to find GMO's in food.

  • yankee phil

    This is a case for having a referendum vote on the problem, which effectively goes around the senate or house and give the vote on a given bill to the people. Not only would you have the true wishes of the voting public known but also a vote of confidence ,at the same time, of the elected officials that are voting contrary to their constituency's wishes who they are supposed to be representing………..probably why you'll never see it happen,that would be true democracy in action. Good luck you poor bastards.

  • 4health

    Thanks, for those who posted the info for finding out who voted for states rights to label and info on contacting our Senators. I wrote mine a thank you note.

  • Roselene Haines

    The list of senators who voted against the states labeling GM foods should be published on your site, so we can make sure we support some one else for the position..

  • mglambe

    This is going to have to be a grass roots effort. I read the labels of everything I buy. I buy organic, I only eat at a very few restaurants in town that I know serve organic products, I post articles on FB, and generally show others by my actions how I battle this monster known as Monsanto. I see a big problem with willful ignorance, though. I read just this week in an article in the LA times that more that 67% of people are either overweight or obese. I see people streaming into fast food places. I see people eating crap at lunch. People don't want to hear the message. They'd rather pay a doctor down the road that invest their money right now into themselves by exercising, eating right and living a healthy lifestyle. Sometimes I get discouraged but the battle is won one person at a time.

  • ck55@

    If I wasn't living this nightmare I wouldn't believe that in America we are fighting about knowing what's in our food! After I get back from the March I am going to make it a point to post on all the senator's Facebook pages that they don't give a rat's ass about the American people and to vote them out of office. Too bad we can't wake up from this nightmare!

    • J. FRANK

      You shouldn't wait to " vote 'um out of office " , " RECALL THEM " !

  • Alex

    Here’s the vote tally form today

  • bumpercrop

    They can not sell to us what we do not purchase. I am growing as much food as I can, and my neighbors are
    doing the same. We share with each other. I am grieving because it appears as if our elected leaders do not give
    a damn about us. I never thought it would come to this, our leaders are just whores for money and power. They don't even try to pretend anymore. May all your green beans and eggplant flourish.

    • rzraick

      Our elected leaders have not given a damn about us for the last century or so. There are some rare exceptions, of course. Usually they are assassinated, or crucified. I am tired of reading that people are expressing concern over this and that. It is time to express outrage, pick up the torches and pitchforks and march after the criminals traitors and murderers in office, in the pentagon, in the central banks and in big corporations monopolies such as Monsanto.

  • fjnunn

    You can see what how each senator voted here:

    • alison cline

      So if they voted nay it means that they don't think that states should have the right to decide to label foods that have GMO?

  • Glenda

    Outrageous! I suggest that those who support GMOs are ignorant of the facts and that you let your elected representatives know that you will not be supporting them at the next election!

    • Frank

      No, not Ignorant, just PAID OFF.

  • Colette

    One of the many senators who voted against what would seem to be commonsense and non-radical, Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) says that labeling GMO foods runs counter to what we “know” about them. This knowledge, she says, is that GMO foods are safe, no more dangerous than their “conventional counterparts.”
    Safe like sugar, salt , ingredients…that are listed on the label!

    • Rick

      Buycott is an app that is free. It will advise you on all products regarding GMO. Search it to see for yourself.

  • Colette

    So Monsanto can sue the state for labeling, but we can't sue Monsanto if we get sick from their products……WOW! Hope everyone is marching tomorrow!! We will NOT give up!!

    • guest

      If Monsanto's product isn't on food labels then on what basis will someone sue Monsanto of they get sick? How does one link the sickness with Monsanto? Labeling would provide that basis in fact.

  • Dix

    Doesn't Bill Gates have kids? assuming he does not plan on living forever, you'd think he would be concerned about how his progeny are going to reproduce in the contaminated world he leaves to them. BUT WAIT! We all THOUGHT he was smart. We THOUGHT most politicians were relatively well educated. Yep, monsanto double speak is this incredible new language. It is being taught in all the better circles.

    • Louise Whiteford

      I believe that Bill Gates was involved in taking the collection of heirloom seeds collected over thirty years by "helping" the collector with extra financing and then having this "helpful" board vote to sell the heirloom seeds to Monsanto. I think they are being stored in an underground facility in Iceland. Bill Gates children will be eating safe foods. The others will die. Can Reality research this?

      • josh

        Don't forget the millions in stock in Monsanto he owns

    • Frank

      He,his wife and his daddy are and were into eugenics. His daddy helped form Klanned Parenthood.Read M. Sanger's bio and all will be revealed.

  • Dix

    YOUR WALLET MEANS NOTHING! HA! The best way to choose safest food is to go raw. BUT, if THAT is GMO, there is certainly going to be NOTHING ELSE on any shelf that may or may not be. It all has to have it's source in the basics. You will never know the difference, so you cannot then vote with your wallet. When GMO on fresh produce rack is NOT labelled, how can you choose? Even buying from the farmer means NOTHING now that cross-pollination has had a chance for years to take a complete toe-hold over the land. Sorry, but this is already LONG SINCE a dead issue folks! You missed out on the chance to stop it about 20 years ago. Our only hope lies in some of the remote islands. Perhaps Japan may have been saved from some kinds of cross-pollination. I know a few years ago they would not let a ship from North America even enter a harbor because it had corn on board.

    • Thomas Lynch

      of course you can vote with your wallet and effect change. you've given up and are just complaining. we grow food, use a local farm share with their own seed stock , etc, etc. mfr foods can be scrutinized and with a little smart shopping and selection its not rocket science. i disagree with your assessment. BTW I work for a very large japanese company and my cooworkers in Japan do not consider it the nirvana you describe? their govt is very supportive and their "FDA" is not as bias and industry serving as ours.

  • Thomas Lynch

    We are already voting in our household? If we are not sure or can't figure out what kind of crap is in "it"? we ain't buying? I am voting with my wallet. Doesn't pass Fooducate or etc. NO GOOD. Look how fast they put peanut and gluten warnings when people stopped buying the products or there were liability issues? won't take the 3 years they claim if their profits fall to the floor in a few months.

    • cpmt


  • Jennifer Rasmussne

    I would also like an email to the link that shows how each senator voted on the amendment, Thank U

  • Dan

    If possible, please email me a link to a site that shows how each senator voted on this amendment