Framing the Debate

Many citizens have become skeptical of the usage of genetically modified crops in the United States food industry. With the growing suspicion of major biotech companies intentions, constituents have become interested in the reasons as to why their Senators help these companies block labeling laws. Therefore causing a rise in the number of people who are concerned by foods that contain genetically modified organisms. Many people could ask why the United States even allows the use of GMOs, the European Union has taken the safe side when dealing with GMOs. With the lack of knowledge regarding the safety of consuming these products long term, the European Union has went on to pass laws banning the use of genetically engineered crops. Knowing that the United States is all about maximizing profit, its quite clear that a full on ban of the use of GMOs is not in the foreseeable future. There have been many differing opinions on this issue from people of all backgrounds and through this blog I hope to show many different sides of this debate and explicate what would be in the best interest of consumers. Therefore the question proposed for my debate is, should the United States support nationwide labeling of foods containing GMOs?

Sen. Pat Roberts

Kansas Republican Senator Pat Roberts, had proposed a bill banning the mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods just in March of 2016. Roberts supported his bill with claims that mandatory labeling would cause chaos for consumers, farmers, and the food industry as a whole. Roberts claims are aimed to protect farmers that use genetically modified crops, he went on to state having foods labeled would demonize products and would in turn force farmers (farmers using GM crops) to switch back to using crops that aren’t genetically modified. Many biotech companies producing these genetically modified crops, such as leading biotech company Monsanto, have poured hundred of millions into the blockage of bills proposing labeling laws. If the citizen has the right to know what is in their food, why are biotech companies paying to block bills that support what the citizens deserve?

Sen. Bernie Sanders

However there are also politicians that are for the passage of labeling. Vermont Democrat Senator and Presidential Nominee Bernie Sanders has been a vocal advocate of the need to at least label food products containing GMOs. There are many problems with not labeling foods that have been genetically modified, first of all consumers deserve to know what they are eating, because of the unknown long term and short term health effects from consuming these products. The World Health Organization classified glyphosate, the herbicide used on genetically modified crops, as a probable human carcinogen. With the growing number of consumers becoming aware of this issue states like Vermont have passed state laws confirming the constitutionality of genetically engineered food labeling laws. Vermont has went on to fully deny injunctions from many major food companies trying to block the law. “This important ruling affirms the constitutionality of genetically engineered food labeling, as well as the rights of Vermonters and U.S. citizens across the country,” said George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case.

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