Tag Archives: CapAllies Post

Colorado Food Fight

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Colorado Food Fight 

 By Jerry Rogers

For years now, American farmers have reported the numerous advantages of using genetically modified (GM) crops. What’s more, roughly 2,000 studies have confirmed that genetically modified organisms (GMO) are as safe as or safer than conventional or organic foods. For thirty years, the science has remained unchanged. Yet, the anti-GMO activists continue their disinformation campaign.

Ronnie Cummins, national director for the anti-GMO Organic Consumers Association (OCA), wrote that the “turning point in the anti-GMO Movement in the U.S. came in 2012-13 when organic and anti-GE organizations … decided to bypass the federal government and launch high-profile, multi-million dollar state ballot initiative campaigns for mandatory labeling of GMOs in California and Washington State.”

Mr. Cummins knows that the campaign for state-based labeling has nothing to do with a consumer’s right to know, and everything to do with using mandatory labeling to drive GMOs off the market. He admits that “state legislative battles in Vermont, Oregon, and other states will likely reach critical mass in 2014, forcing industry and the federal government to finally adopt EU-type regulations and practices on GMOs.”

Over four dozen pieces of legislation have been introduced in nearly 30 states to require GMO labeling. This death-by-a-thousand-cuts campaign has traveled to Colorado with a GMO labeling question on that state’s November ballot.

The good news is that some in the mainstream media are paying attention to the science and benefits of GMOs. Just last week, the Denver Post editorial board urged its readers to vote “no” on the GMO labeling measure (Proposition 105)—writing that it is “a badly flawed measure that will hurt Colorado farmers and food producers without providing any health benefit to consumers.”

The politics of GMOs need to catch up with the science. There is federal legislation that may be a good first step in doing just that. Introduced by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R., Kan.) and G.K. Butterfield (D., N.C.), the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014”  would preempt unsound efforts like Colorado’s Prop105 and create national standards for food labeling under the sole authority of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Jerry Rogers is vice president at the Institute for Liberty and the founder of Capitol Allies, an independent, nonpartisan effort that promotes entrepreneurship, economic growth, and free enterprise.

 

Carter Redux

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Jimmy Carter Redux?

By Jerry Rogers

In his speech at Northwestern University last week, the president touted—as good news—the unemployment rate. He said that “by every economic measure, we are better off now than we were when I took office.”

By every economic measure, we are better off?

We know from the September Jobs Report that the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.9 percent. However, if you’re like most American workers, your earnings have declined or remained flat. Household income—for most Americans—is lower today than it was five years ago when the great recession officially ended.

Why?

Behind the rosy headlines celebrating the “rebounding” economy and the “reassuring” news of falling unemployment is the gloomy truth that the labor-force participation rate remains shockingly low—1970s, Jimmy Carter low. Earnings are stagnant because we have a surplus of workers sitting on the sidelines.

As I said here yesterday, the unemployment rate dropped because more people simply gave up looking for jobs. President Obama is failing as dramatically as did Jimmy Carter. The last time the labor force participation rate fell to 62.7 percent (today’s level) was during the Carter malaise in 1978. Let’s leave the late-70s behind us, and build an economy for the 21st Century.

Policy-makers need to pass meaningful market-based reforms that will liberate entrepreneurs from taxes and costly, job-killing regulations. The health of America’s economy depends on start-ups and new businesses being able to obtain capital, expand research, and grow into public companies that can hire people while bringing new products to market.

We can do better, and I’ll be exploring how at the CapAllies Post as we lead up to the midterm elections. Stay tuned.

Jerry Rogers is vice president at the Institute for Liberty and the founder of Capitol Allies, an independent, nonpartisan effort that promotes entrepreneurship, economic growth, and free enterprise