GMO labeling shouldn't be voluntary
July 27, 2015
To the editor:

It was both disconcerting and a point of concern to learn that Rep. Billy Long (MO 7th District) along with several other representatives voted recently against the labeling of food products in regards to GMO contents. These votes despite over 93% of Americans according to a New York Times article are in favor of laws requiring labeling.

Consumers, citizens have a right to know the contents of the food they consume (as well as the origin recently the requirement for a COO (Country of Origin) label was passed in regards to meat). Such decisions by elected representative are obviously not the views and opinions of the 'people.' The citizens represented by these elected representatives need to know that they are not being represented fairly or honestly.

In making decisions such as these, Congressman Long and other representatives are essentially telling people what they can (or cannot) ingest into their own bodies. By making such decisions against the popular opinion of the majority, representatives are forcing their opinions on everyone, despite their personal beliefs on the matter.

As elected representatives they have a moral and legal obligation to adequately represent their constituency, the very people who expressed a believe they would be properly represented by them. When a representative votes for an action that goes against the desires of the majority (93% in this case), the representative is not representing the people. If not the people who elected them, then who?

Voting actions such as those taken by Congressman Long and others in this matter do not represent 'We the People.' 'We the People' need to be aware of such actions and take measures to ensure we are properly and adequately represented, not let them for whatever reason, go against the popular opinion and desire.

Kevin Johnson

[Editor's note:

HR 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act. The bill, sponsored by Representative Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.), prohibits states from mandating labels on products with genetically modified ingredients and creates a voluntary certification system at the USDA.

A genetically modified organism (GMO), also known as a transgenic organism, is any organism whose genetic material has been altered using genetic engineering techniques.]

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