I was not surprised when I received responses to my email about labeling genetically modified foods in grocery stores (see the email below from Senator Bob Casey). So, per this Senator, they only voted to allow states to decide about labeling GMO foods. What he forgot to mention was they defeated Bernie Sanders amendment.
As usual, I was disappointed.
Our Congressmen and Senators have not, to date, represented the voice of the people who are paying their salaries on much of anything so I don’t know why I actually expect our elected officials to represent us and NOT Monsanto, Archer, Daniels, Midland and all of the other megalithic corporations.
I have to confess that our elected representatives did make some progress on a couple of issues related to big business, but they still managed to hurt the very people that most need their representation with votes like the one on nutrition assistance for hungry families.
So Pennsylvania’s elected officials pretty much joined all the other elected representatives to pass a doozie of a Farm Bill. So what, you ask? Here’s the down and dirty on the Farm Bill that our elected representatives and Senators did pass – read it and weep.
As I mentioned, I emailed my elected officials before the vote. Below are the text of my email and the response from Bob Casey. I guess he thinks I flunked logic or maybe English is my second language and I will buy the pig in a poke he so aptly puts forward.
Sorry, Bob. I read you loud and clear. You should really be ashamed, not just for lying to me, but for lying to yourself.
Bernie Sanders, where are you?
My Email to PA Senators – Bob Casey & Pat Toomey
I am furious to learn that you voted against Sen. Sanders’ Farm Bill amendment to affirm states’ right to label genetically engineered food.
Nine out of ten voters agree that genetically engineered food should be labeled, but you had to side with Monsanto, no doubt because of money the company has contributed to your campaigns and spent lobbying for you.
According to OpenSecrets.org, in 2012 alone, Monsanto doled out $1,034,064 in campaign cash and spent $5,970,000 on lobbying.
If you want my vote, you should consider standing with the people, not the corporations.
From: Senator Robert P. Casey, Jr. [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Thursday, August 01, 2013 7:16 PM
Subject: Response from Senator Casey
|Dear Ms.XXXX:Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding the Farm Bill. I appreciate hearing
from you about this legislation and the provisions that matter most to you.Roughly every five years, Congress reauthorizes the Farm Bill, which governs federal
farm and food policy. The 2008 Farm Bill expired on September 30, 2012. Although the
Senate had passed the 2012 Farm Bill on June 21, 2012, the House of Representatives
did not pass its version of the 2012 Farm Bill during the 112th Congress. For this reason,
on January 1, 2013, as part of the fiscal cliff package, Congress passed a one-year
extension of federal farm programs based largely on the 2008 Farm Bill.
On June 10, 2013, the Senate passed its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. I voted for the bill,
which passed with a vote of 66-27. On July 11, 2013, the House of Representatives passed
on its version of the 2013 Farm Bill. As the Senate and House confer on these bills in order
to reconcile differences between the two versions, please be assured that I will continue to
keep your views in mind. I will also keep your views in mind should the Senate and House
consider an extension of the current Farm Bill.
I have made it a priority to keep Pennsylvania’s agricultural industry and our rural economies
strong to support Pennsylvanian families. I am working to improve the Farm Bill so that it is
more fair and equitable for Pennsylvanian agriculture. I will continue to represent the interests
of Pennsylvanians and urge the passage of comprehensive, forward-thinking legislation.
A number of Senators introduced amendments to the 2013 Farm Bill related to genetically
engineered ingredients or crops. The Senate voted on only one such amendment. Senator Bernie Sanders
of Vermont introduced an amendment that would have permitted states to require that any food
or beverage offered for sale have a label indicating that the item contains a genetically engineered
ingredient. Proponents of genetically modified crops argue that such advances help, among other
things, to combat disease, increase annual yields, keep food prices in check and improve freshness
and taste. At the same time, the significance of making genetic alterations to our food supply is a
serious matter. Foods produced from this process should undergo rigorous safety inspections and
other relevant scientific testing. I understand that some Pennsylvanians are concerned about
consuming foods which have been genetically altered. It is imperative that consumers have accurate
information about the foods they buy for themselves and their families. However, I voted against
Senator Sanders’ amendment because it would have preempted existing Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
labeling regulations, which I believe is the appropriate authority, and also would have hindered
interstate commerce by creating a patchwork of state labeling requirements. The amendment failed
to receive the votes necessary to pass.
Please be assured that I will continue to keep your views in mind as the Senate continues to consider
the Farm Bill during the 113th Congress. As always, I appreciate your views, thoughts and concerns
as they assist me in understanding what is important to the people of Pennsylvania. Please do not
hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
United States Senator