Buried Deep in the Farm Bill, a Provision That Could Stop States from Mandating Labels on GMO Foods

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\"grocerystore\"The voluminous farm bill that cleared the U.S. House of Representatives over the summer contains a provision that could hamper the ability of Connecticut and other states to require food labels.

Section 11312, offered up by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, could effectively end a state\’s ability to regulate agriculture, say critics, including members of Connecticut\’s congressional delegation.

\”This provision, referred to as the King Amendment, is a serious infringement on states\’ rights with far reaching impacts, and we urge you to reject this provision in the final conference report,\’\’ states a letter signed by 23 U.S. Senators, including Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. \”The amendment would force state and local governments to allow the sale of products that meet federal production standards, or the production standards of the state in which the product was produced–even if the state receiving the product deems the product dangerous for consumers, farmers, or the environment. This amendment is an infringement of state regulatory powers.\’\’

The farm bill approved by the House appears doomed in the Senate. It likely will go to a conference committee to hammer out an agreement and opponents of King\’s amendment hope to strip the provision from the final version of the bill.

If they are unsuccessful, Connecticut\’s just-passed mandate to label foods with genetically modified organisms may never see fruition. The legislature passed the GMO labeling law at the end of the 2013 session. It stipulates that food made with such ingredients must carry labels provided that four other states pass a similar bill. In addition, any combination of northeastern states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey), with an aggregate population of at least 20 million people, must approve labeling legislation.

 But the amendment would stop more than GMO labels. If enacted, states would be prohibited from regulating everything from the movement of firewood to discourage pests to the killing of sharks for their fins.

\”We believe that Congress should not usurp the power of states to address the concerns of their citizens on animal protection or any number of other subjects,\’\’ states a letter signed by dozens of members of the House, including all five of Connecticut\’s representatives. \”The breadth and ambiguity of Rep. King\’s amendment are striking.\”


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7 thoughts on “Buried Deep in the Farm Bill, a Provision That Could Stop States from Mandating Labels on GMO Foods

  1. kim

    too bad that Blumenthal and Murphy have so successfully destroyed any chance of them being taken seriously. On the rare occassion when they might be right, no one wants to listen to them.

  2. Greg

    So much for states rights.

    Rep from Iowa, whose farmers grow (gmo)corn,(gmo) soy, and little else, seeks to shill for his state’s and donor’s economic interests and crushes state-level regulation.

    We saw how well the USDA food pyramid worked for the nation- now 2/3 of the population are a bunch of fatties with a whole 1/3 clinically obese. 10 servings of grains a day, they said! Worked real well…

    1. Mr Bill

      A Libertarian would say that government regulation hinders our ability to become obese therefore, fat people have a right to get fatter and fatter.

      Americans are not full of sheet they are full of high fruitose corn sweetener. Especially the conservative ones.

      1. kim

        and a socialist would say that the government should decide what is right for everyone, and make all decisions for them and THEY would be full of sheet. Of course, the government could only make decisions that socialists like billy approve of or HE would have to take the helm and make decisions for everyone else on his own. Kind of contrarian, isn’t it? Individuals should not be allowed to make decisions, except for those like billy who would get to decide which decisions are appropriate.

        A perfect example would be billy’s siding with the government over the percieved majority opinion that gun control should be vigorously implemented. This, while ignoring the majority opinion AGAINST Obamacare. No logic, no consistency, no freedom (except for his) – you get the picture. If you don’t, think ‘jackboots’

        1. Mr Bill


          I have railed against excessive use of federal officers all my life so your accusations are based on personal invectives. In your mind, I become the perfect symbolic socialist liberal to resist. But you are mistaken. You are not only off the deep end, you should be more circumspect with your opinions.

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