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The Hairy Woodpecker


Birding Business is the only magazine and web site dedicated to the business-to-business side of the bird feeding industry.

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September 2015

Dissenting Views

BY RAY DAVID | Editor/Publisher

birding business sept. 2015 400 coverRecent polling shows that nine out of ten Americans want the right to know whether their food has been produced with genetically modified food ingredients. Vermont, Connecticut and Maine have acted to give consumers the right to know what is in their food and how it is grown.

H.R. 1599 would preempt states from labeling GMO foods and would invalidate existing state laws. H.R. 1599 would make it virtually impossible for the Food and Drug Administration to craft a national mandatory GMO labeling system. It would codify the existing voluntary non-GMO labeling policy that causes confusion among consumers. H.R. 1599 also would allow ``natural’’ claims on foods with GMOs, which adds to consumer confusion. Consumers have the right to know what is in their food and how it is grown. H.R. 1599 makes it more difficult for consumers to know that information.

This is the closing paragraph of House Bill HR 1599, passed July 23rd by the United States Congress. The single paragraph contains the only objections to the preceding hundreds of pages written specifically to allow Monsanto and others like it the authority to deny us the right to know what’s in the food we eat.  The bill, as it stands, would prevent the FDA from ever implementing food labeling laws, and enable corporations like Monsanto to make misleading ‘natural’ claims for food products that contain genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients.  

Put another way, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration would be permanently prevented from allowing the public to know if the food we’re eating contains harmful, even untested, chemicals.
The bill, as it stands, will also rescind food labelling laws already in force in those states, and nullify over 135 state and local regulations that currently restrict the use of GMO crops or pesticides.

Full Disclosure:  I hug trees on weekends.  That is, I’m a believer in conservation, recycling, organics, free choice, and so on.  But I’m not inflexible, there are some lines I’m willing to cross if I see a valid reason.  But fairness, to me, is paramount – Monsanto isn’t fair.  And now the monolith has forbidden our lawmakers from being fair too.  Their legions of armed insurgents in lawyer guise have descended on D.C. with a vengeance and buckets of cash to ensure our free choice is sublimated to Monsanto’s will.  Monsanto’s will is that voters should be denied the right to know what’s in the food we eat, (what we huggers call the DARK Act - DENY AMERICANS THE RIGHT TO KNOW) and Congress is singing the company song just as they’ve been instructed.  

The states and counties mentioned have passed laws to give shoppers the option to know what is being added to our food during processing.  Commonly referred to as truth in labelling. Monsanto feels shoppers should not have the right to know.  Monsanto also feels that those same states and counties should be denied the right to tell us, and to determine what food crops can or cannot be grown in their regions.  That’s what HR 1599 was designed to do.  

BE AWARE, HR 1599 ISN’T LAW YET… it has only passed Congress.  The Senate is next.  
A new bill will be written for the Senate in September, and if that one passes it will become the law of the land.  We still have that one chance to save our freedom of choice.  Get in touch with your senator NOW!  The senate needs to know if you want your rights or you don’t.

In this Issue:
Bee Whis
Suet: An Unsong Staple
Bird Walks Build Business
Internet-proof Your Small Business

Book Reviews
Industry News
New Products


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