Solution: Label GMO Food Locally

Ever since food became easier and more profitable to create by machinery the government has tried to regulate it in some sort of fashion. The first English regulation of such was the Assize of Bread and Ale around the year 1266. In America the first endeavour into regulating food came in 1862 when President Lincoln launched the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Chemistry. These two organizations operated in what today we call the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) or the Agriculture Department. Later on in 1906 the Pure Food and Drugs Act was passed and what we now call the Food and Drug Administration was formed. Through these early regulatory adoptions it was aimed to raise the standards in food and their truthfulness in packaging. The nutrition labels that we all now know were mandated in 1990 through the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (NLEA) and amended by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004.

But how far do we go in demanding how manufacturers produce and label their food? Specifically speaking, how far can we go on a federal level? On a state level? Already, we have numerous states with specific laws for food that is imported or exported from that state  above and beyond the federal requirements.

This raises a question: should we rely on one-size-fits-all mandates from D.C.? Or would we be better served allowing states to determines the extent of their food labeling?

Considering the way big agribusiness manipulates the federal system, we might want to consider a more decentralized approach.

On March 26th President Obama signed HR 933 – called the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013 – into law to stop the shutdown of the American government. Buried in this bill, we find the Farmer Assurance Provision – aka the “Monsanto Protection Act.” Lawmakers sneaked in Section 735 giving special privileges to companies that deal with genetically modified organisms (GMO), even allowing them to continue producing crops even if a court finds them harmful – which very well may not entirely be the case. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said that he will introduce legislation in the Farm Bill of 2013 to repeal the Monsanto Protection Act.

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Hold His Feet to the Fire? Please

Republicans have all but acknowledged that Mitt Romney is not a conservative, and that he is no different in substance than Barack Obama, and they have settled. Some, those still in denial, steadfastly hold on to his rhetoric, but most have accepted that their nominee is so zealous for political power that he has no qualms about playing either a progressive or conservative, so long as he wins an election. It seems then, that Romney will change his rhetorical tone just as quickly as he’ll spray tan for Univision on Wednesday, and scrub it all off for 60 Minutes on Sunday.

In a near-textbook case of denial, many on the Right have acknowledged all of this, but insist that voting for him is still the “lesser of two evils,” and what’s really important is “defeating Obama.” Their answer is to simply hold “Mitt Romney’s feet to the fire” once Obama’s gone.

But what is “holding his feet to the fire,” what does it look like (aside from the obvious connotation with torture, repression, and despotism)?

More to the point, how do activists hold a president’s feet to the fire? After all, he has the power to drone us all to death with the stroke of pen, and make us buy stuff, even if we don’t want to. I’ve given this some thought and have concluded that it can’t be done; you’d have to be living in some bizarro-world to think otherwise.

For instance, if they (the Republicans, Tea Partiers, and anyone else planning to vote Empty Suit 2012) think they’re going to hold his feet to the fire, why don’t they hold Obama’s feet to the fire now, what’s stopping them?

Oh, but you see, Obama’s too much of an ideologue, he’s too immersed in his Marxist-Socialist-Leninist ways, he can’t be persuaded to change his ways, they’d reply.

OK.

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Smash the Etch-A-Sketch, Nullify Obamacare!

This past weekend Mitt Romney said that “there are a number of things that I like in [Obamacare] that I’m going to put in place.” Such a revelation is yet another example of why relying on federal politicians -particularly of the Republican persuasion – to restore human liberty is foolish.

Throughout the primary season Romney assured Republican voters that he was against the Affordable Care Act and, if he was elected president, would put an end to it. In June of 2011 he told CNN’s Piers Morgan that “if I’m president I will repeal Obamacare.” (The entire clip is full of gems, and worth watching, if you have the stomach for such things). He continued this promise throughout the debates, and used it a number of times to parry attacks from Rick Santorum on the issue.

That he’s now reversing his rhetoric should come as no surprise. Such flip-flopping is standard fare with Mitt Romney, as virtually everyone is aware; his YouTube collections of contradictory statements and backpedaling are impressive, if not comical for their sheer numbers. Now, this is not to say that other politicians don’t also have similar montages, plenty do, but what’s striking about Romney’s are that some go on for twenty minutes.

No doubt some conservatives and right-leaning independents are surprised and disappointed by this shift,

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