DEADLINE TODAY: Stop the King Amendment!
Another Monsanto Protection Act?Today, Wednesday, May 15, the House Agriculture Committee will vote on a proposed Farm Bill amendment that if passed, will take away states’ rights to pass laws governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product, including food and animals raised for food, that is intended for sale in interstate commerce. The language in the King Amendment, proposed by Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), is ambiguous. But some analysts believe that Monsanto will use the amendment as legal ammunition to challenge any future state laws mandating labels on GMO-tainted food.
If your Member of Congress is on the House Agriculture Committee, please use the form below to urge your representative to vote against the King Amendment. Your message will have even more impact if you follow it up with a call to the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121.
Rep. King says his amendment is merely an effort to "reinforce the Commerce Clause," by asserting "that a state cannot deny the trade of an agricultural product from another state based on its means of production." But, who is he kidding? King's amendment isn't about protecting the Commerce Clause, it's about protecting industrial agriculture.
Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States warns that the King Amendment is sweeping and far-reaching: "It seeks to nullify every state, county or local law that creates any standard or condition relating to an agricultural production activity – so we’d have no state laws for agricultural facilities relating to worker rights, animal welfare, environmental protection or public health.”
Could this amendment be used to wipe out states’ efforts, including citizen ballot initiatives, to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs)? The Environmental Working Group (EWG) thought so last year, when Rep. King tried to attach the amendment to the failed 2012 Farm Bill. Heather White, Executive Director for EWG said at the time that the bill would “. . . apply to genetically engineered food labeling, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO) regulation, antibiotics use in meat and other local and state food and farm regulations."
As more and more states threaten to pass GMO labeling laws, it would come as no surprise if Monsanto were looking for ways to stomp on states’ rights.
It also comes as no surprise that among the many contributors to Rep. King's election campaigns are companies involved in every production level in the GMO supply chain: seed and chemical companies (Monsanto, Syngenta), growers (Iowa Corn Growers' Association, American Farm Bureau), processors (American Crystal Sugar, Ag Processors), the factory farms that convert GMO grains to animal products (Beef Products Inc., the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, International Dairy Foods Association), and the junk food companies pushing GMO ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and trans fats (Cargill, Coca-Cola, ConAgra).
Whether the King Amendment would hit one state food bill or a hundred, it's clear who Rep. King is working for: Food Inc., not consumers. If the King amendment passes, we will fight any company that attempts to use the amendment to overturn state GMO labeling laws. But let's make sure it doesn't pass!
Please send the letter below to voice your opposition to the King Amendment.