Unfortunately, the debate over GMO labeling continues in the form of “to label or not to label” and is focused on the federal government. As is typical, stipulating that this is an issue on which the federal government should decide for all, has backfired. Calls for GMO labeling at state, local and federal levels has led to a counter-productive Frankenstein that ultimately requires a convoluted nod to disclosure while eradicating the principle of subsidiarity, cramming down federal law over state law, and even interfering with private parties from labeling as they see fit.
The libertarian solution is and always has been to allow the competitive free market to reward suppliers of non-GMO foods in accordance with the demand for them. If a place like Whole Foods Market wants to offer and label non-GMO foods and people want to pay more or go out of their way for them, those economic actors can get what they want while those who don’t worry about GMOs can get what they want from proprietors who also don’t worry about GMOs.
I am not for mandatory labeling, but I also staunchly oppose federal law dictating the parameters of state legislation in violation of the Tenth Amendment and even more vehemently oppose any law dictating the extent of non-fraudulent, good faith transparency in voluntary labeling.
Here are some articles on what has been dubbed “The DARK Law” (Denying Americans the Right to Know). Unfortunately, the articles that deal with this invariably advocate for mandatory labeling, which, as I said, I do not support. I did look for articles from libertarian sources that discuss the issue without advocating for federally mandated labeling and couldn’t find them. I did however find articles at reason and Cato lauding the federal cram-down as ends-justifying-means. (This is the kind of disappointing policy compromise I have noticed “corporate libertarians” often favor in lieu of taking a hard line on principles.)
I have tried to find hard scientific evidence on the damage done by GMOs and was unable to find anything I considered conclusive, but of course I’m an open source investigator and not a scientist in the field, and the cards might be stacked against us laymen in our efforts to find the truth. Here are two items that make me think the cards are stacked:
The first, a TED talk by Sharyl Attkisson…
The second, the story of Jane Akre & her husband Steve Wilson on their lawsuit against Fox in which it was ultimately ruled that the FCC policy against falsification was not a “law, rule, or regulation.”
Not two minutes ago, I wrote above about not finding a rational discussion of GMO labeling in mainstream libertarian media, but just now I found on reason.com the following extensive hit piece on the journalists who won–then lost–their suit against Fox regarding the Monsanto case discussed in the article above.
The Strange Case of Steve Wilson
How a fraudulent crusader snookered the left-and is threatening the First Amendment
I am happy for reason to set the record straight on any subject whatsoever (assuming that’s what they’re doing), but I find it strange that they chose to go after these reporters (reason‘s position in the matter not being one with any particular libertarian angle), but do not fully vet the GMO issue which is crying out for a libertarian treatment to counter both the “mandatory labeling” crowd and the “prohibit labeling” crowd.