A ‘Logical Surprise’ Vote on GMO Labeling Bill?

A ‘Logical Surprise’ Vote on GMO Labeling Bill?

Earlier this year, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul cast what was, at the time, somewhat of a surprising ‘No’ vote on a bill that would have allowed states to create and enforce their own laws regarding GMO food labeling.

The bill seemed like it was aimed at making food safer by letting consumers know what was in the product they were buying. And it gave this power to the states, allowing them to decide if they wanted to require a GMO label.

But, as Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com points out, break apart Paul’s post-vote statement and combine it with his very distinct philosophy, and you’ll see it fits with everything the junior senator stands for.

“Like many Natural News readers, I was astonished when Sen. Rand Paul voted against a recent amendment that would have allowed states to enact their own local laws regarding GMO labeling. Rand Paul’s answer to why he voted against the amendment, however, is a coherent argument that deserves additional discussion. Paul is, it turns out, fully in favor of consumers being fully informed of what they’re buying, but he’s incredibly cautious about handing government new powers to regulate food labeling.”

Paul explained his decision in a Facebook post after the vote, saying the issue wasn’t safety: It was government power.

“I am an opponent of the FDA’s war on natural foods and farmers,” he wrote. “I’ve stood up for raw milk, hemp and natural supplements. I fought to take power AWAY from the government on these issues. So while there is evidence we should be concerned about GMOs, we should also be careful not to lose our constitutional perspective simply because the end result is one we may desire. That’s what we fight against…There were many more problems with it, including the potential the FDA could have assumed broad new rule making authority if this badly written amendment had passed.”

What it boils down to, Adam explains, is a few broad points.

One, the proper role of government. Paul is against the expansion of the FDA’s powers, not anti-safety. Two, whenever the government gets more power, it “always abuses” that power.

“Yes, we all want consumers to know what they are eating, but there are different ways to achieve that result. Rand Paul wants to make sure government is not granted power that can be abused, and it is of course absolutely true that the FDA is essentially run by Monsanto, Big Pharma and other corporate interests. So we don’t want to give a criminal government more power, especially when that government is already grossly abusing its power with the DOJ-AP scandal, the IRS targeting scandal, Obama’s secret kill lists, secret military prisons and so on.”

So maybe you disagree with Paul’s decision, and think giving the government more power is an acceptable sacrifice for having GMO labeling. And that’s absolutely fine. But it’s hard to fault Paul for his vote. If you get past the initial surprise, it follows the exact same philosophy he always uses to judge bills.

What do you think? Would an additional federal regulation be an acceptable sacrifice if it meant more labeling of genetically modified food products? Or would you rather keep the government from growing any larger, and find a different way to improve food safety?

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