Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

The problem with GMO bill is Congressional corruption, not GMOs

Only one American industry is provided protection from government interference in the U.S. Constitution – the free press.

Yet that doesn’t relieve news organizations from all kinds of government regulations. OSHA regulates worker safety, the Labor Board oversees fair employment practices and the FCC monitors dirty words uttered on news broadcasts.

And if a news organization negligently causes someone harm, it can be held liable by the courts.

It’s generally the same for all other American industries. Yet many companies routinely seek to purchase from the Congress exemptions from those and other regulations to give themselves a competitive advantage. And some often seek from the Congress liability protection from any harm their products may cause, especially if that product is made in the public interest, like plutonium, for instance.

So it’s not all that unusual that the agricultural giant Monsanto would seek to use the Congress to protect itself from the hysteria over genetically modified organisms – or GMOs – that is spreading through anti-corporate liberal circles.

A rider inserted into an appropriations bill in March by Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., gives all companies in the GMO business blanket liability protection in the production and sale of GMOs. Missouri-based Monsanto is getting the blame because it’s the largest developer and user of genetically modified food crops and one of the largest companies in the world and therefore a liberal bugbear. As a result, the rider has been dubbed the “Monsanto Protection Act.”

But paranoid liberals worked into a lather about Frankenfoods and their evil corporate creators are not the only ones pushing back on the liability exemption. Consumer advocacy groups also oppose the measure because of its overly broad exemptions. It essentially allows any manufacturer of GMOs to be as evil as it wants to be and that’s bad for consumers.

But that reasonable response to purchased legislation (also called corruption) has been overshadowed by the hysteria over GMOs.

The debate about the rider is not about corporate corruption of Congress; it’s a proxy for the fight against genetically modified foods.

Numerous liberal groups want GMOs banned in America, or at least as heavily regulated as they are in Europe. The belief is that if you insert the genes of one organism into another you haven’t improved the organism, you’ve created a monster that will destroy the world.

Liberals who fall to their knees and bow their heads to the “consensus science” of global warming will instead stand on their feet and shake a fist at the consensus science that most GMO crops cause no harm.

But despite the science that says GMOs are safe, it doesn’t mean that all GMOs created in the future will be, or that corporate corruption will not cause the Congress to restrict or repeal inspection and testing regimes on food manufacturers that ensure GMOs are safe.

The Congress giving an industry a permanent get-out-of-jail-free card is bad policy and the way it was done is bad government.

The GMO liability protection rider should be repealed for those reasons, not because of hysterical fears over some genetically engineered corn-Godzilla laying waste to the land.

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