Friday, May 24, 2013

GMO: No One Is Perfect-- Not Even Elizabeth Warren


What about the corporate AgriBusiness predators?

America is embarrassingly overdue to have a woman president. Golda Meir, Indira Gandi and Margaret Thatcher headed their countries' governments in very dicey times. And aside from them, women have been heads of government in Germany, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Argentina, Portugal, Bolivia, Norway, Iceland, the Philippines, France, Chile, Bangladesh, Ukraine, Poland, Turkey, Canada, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and over a dozen other countries... including both Burundi and Rwanda. But electing a woman just because she's a woman is not what I have in mind. Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, for example, are women.

Unless you're new to this blog, you're probably aware of our immense esteem for Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. She's certainly my idea of what a great first woman president would be. I'm sure Hillary Clinton will be a better choice than whatever stinking pile of garbage the Republicans puke up in 2016, but-- as happy I will be that we finally have a woman president-- Hillary isn't high on my list of great leaders. At best... she's ok sometimes. Of course, not even Elizabeth Warren is perfect, but, for one reason or another, she's a far better leader than Clinton and a far more dedicated progressive. That said, Friday Senator Warren made a bad mistake. She joined 27 Democrats from across the political spectrum-- from good ones like Tammy Baldwin, Tom Harkin and Sherrod Brown to the careful careerists like Kirsten Gillibrand, Bob Casey, Debbie Stabenow, and Jeanne Shaheen all the way to the worst worthless trash in the Democratic caucus like Joe Donnelly, Mark Pryor and Max Baucus-- to vote down an amendment by Bernie Sanders to permit States to require that any food, beverage, or other edible product offered for sale have a label on indicating that the food, beverage, or other edible product contains a genetically engineered ingredient." Yep, only 26 Democrats plus Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski supported a bill to deal with GMO foods.

I wish Warren voted the right way. Do I still want her to be president? Absolutely. Everyone's entitled to a mistake. These are the Democrats who voted for Sanders' amendment, which was defeated 27-71:
Mark Begich (D-AK)
Michael Bennet (D-CO)
Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)
Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
Maria Cantwell (D-WA)
Ben Cardin (D-MD)
Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)
Martin Heinrich (D-NM)
Mazie Hirono (D-HI)
Angus King (I-ME)
Pat Leahy (D-VT)
Joe Manchin (D-WV)
Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Patty Murray (D-WA)
Jack Reed (D-RI)
Harry Reid (D-NV)
Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Brian Schatz (D-HI)
Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
John Tester (D-MT)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
Ron Wyden (D-OR)
What a weird day when Joe Manchin votes the progressive position and Elizabeth Warren votes with the Republicans! By the way, Connecticut's Senate just passed a GMO-labeling bill 35-1. 64 other countries have GMO-labeling laws and some countries ban GMO products sold as food completely. "The concept we're talking about today is a fairly commonsense and non-radical idea," said Sanders just before the vote. "All over the world, in the European Union, in many other countries around the world, dozens and dozens of countries, people are able to look at the food that they are buying and determine through labeling whether or not that product contains genetically modified organisms."

UPDATE: Elizabeth Warren Supports GMO-Labeling

Her Press Secretary, Lacey Rose gave me this statement after the vote yesterday: "The Senator supports labeling and supports the rights of states to set labeling standards based on health and safety. She supports the purpose of the Sanders amendment but voted no because the proposal would have eliminated the ability of the FDA to force states to comply with a more pro-consumer standard in the future."

OK; there you go.

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At 7:46 AM, Blogger Jay Schiavone said...

So I guess Republicans are the real progressives? Can anyone sort out the benefits of Sanders' amendment as opposed to the potential ability of the federal government to undercut states' rights in the future? Does everything have to be so "inside baseball"?

At 5:32 PM, Anonymous me said...

Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin, for example, are women.

Oh god, what a revolting thought.

Are you sure about that? They both look like escapees from a loony bin to me.

I never even noticed their gender - couldn't get past their crazy-eyed idiocy.

At 10:48 PM, Blogger Kim Kaufman said...

I'm nor buying her after-the-vote excuse. She also voted for Jack Lew. So far, she talks a good game but votes bad.

At 7:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't buy her reasons for voting against this amendment. The FDA is about as corrupt as any branch of government can be. And who exactly is their Deputy Commissioner for Foods? Michael Taylor, who has ties to Monsanto.

At 5:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone needs to see "The Future of Food" available online for free. Soon to come will be "The Symphony of the Soil" by the same producer, which shows just how destructive the "Round-Up" ready crops are to the long-term health of the soil. We are mining our future because of some totally reckless, insane corporatist's demands for ever-higher short-term returns.

At 6:08 PM, Anonymous me said...

It'll probably be the 23rd century before this is even as good as a cheap TV dinner.

At 4:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please join March Against Monsanto. Next worldwide protest October 12, 2013. I'll write to Elizabeth Warren and invite her. When she stands with the people she can be my president.

At 8:06 AM, Blogger Rich Garella said...

I don't understand why you say "OK; there you go." Is there actually something in Sanders's amendment that would have "eliminated the ability of the FDA to force states to comply with a more pro-consumer standard in the future" as Warren's press secretary claims?
Has anyone here found the actual text of the amendment, or seen any further reasoning or a response from Sanders?

At 8:12 AM, Blogger Rich Garella said...

OK, I found the text of the amendement at - search for "SA 965". I don't see anything supporting what Warren's press secretary claims.

At 4:56 AM, Blogger Bill Haines said...

I'd say her vote was far more likely horse-traded than honest, and if so whether or not I agree with it would depend on what the bargain was, but in general this doesn't make me like her more. :/

At 4:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By their deeds shall yea know them - Support GMO labeling Elizabeth by passing legislation

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a really well-written and well-researched article promulgated by The Organic Consumers Association.

In August of this year Elizabeth and Senator Udall of Colorado asked the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

That's right "voluntary labeling"?!

I personally am utterly dismayed and bewildered by what appears to her going to bed with the enemy.

And I think we should all be significantly less sanguine about visions "President Warren" sugar plums until she publicly explains why in her opinion we should entrust the genetic future of this planet's biosphere and humanity as well to Monsanto who is currently spending millions in Washington State to defeat their GMO-labeling ballot Initiative 552.

At 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goodbye Hillary, goodbye Elizabeth! You prove you're not thinking thigs through when you vote against the well-being of us all.

At 9:57 AM, Blogger Ben Silver said...

What a silly position.. Humans have been genetically modifying organisms for the purpose of increasing agricultural output and efficiency for CENTURIES. This is just a bunch of pseud-scientific scare mongering, no different from that spouted by anti-vax nutjobs


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