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Letters from readers

Drinking GMO Kool-Aid

May 22, 2015
Farm News

To the editor,

The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, co-sponsored by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kansas, and Rep. G. K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, will supposedly solve the question of GMO labeling.

Instead of allowing states to set their own standards, the theory is one federal standard is preferable. The effort by organic enthusiasts and the environmental extremists whose express purpose is the elimination of GMOs, has finally achieved national recognition.

To be fair, the legislation is intended to provide one standard, instead of many set by individual states, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions when the federal government is involved.

The bill would require the label to identitfy presence of GMOs only if that product was found to be different or unsafe.

OK. Most would agree with that. The troubling aspect of this bill is that it would also establish criteria set by the government to obtain a GMO-free label.

What? A GMO-free label? This is what the anti-GMO crowd has always wanted.

The mystery is why does all of agriculture, including Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta, jump on board? The reason for Big Ag's acceptance is simple - money.

Present day GMOs are exempt which means, and I don't understand why, continued use of today's technology is permitted. This bill will ensure no future breakthroughs in technology eliminating the individual entrepreneur's chance for a better mousetrap.

Farm Bureau supports this which isn't surprising since it has ignored the grassroots and private property rights for years. Corn Growers has become a lackey for federal government subsidies and its hierarchy is divorced from the rank and file members as evidenced by its endorsement of liberal Bruce Braley over the conservative Joni Ernst.

The biggest surprise is the Iowa Soybean Association. Of all farmer-controlled organizations, ISA has provided the most useful information to farmers with the underlying commitment to sustainability and the conservation ethic of farmers independent of politics.

What changed? Do they really and truly think this is a solution to the problem?

The problem is not individual states setting their own standards, but once the federal government acknowledges this as a problem, GMOs are tainted.

Is everyone drinking the Kool-Aid?

What problem has ever been solved by the federal government?

Jerry Crew

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