Preemption: The Legal Principle used by Big Biotech to Get GMO Labeling Banned

preemption-GMO-labeling-DARK-ActPreemption is the legal principle

being trotted out in the last couple of years by politicians and judges ruling on biotechnology and GMO cases. Big Biotech has seized upon the principle of preemption, and unfortunately but unsurprisingly, is now using it with gusto to prevent states, counties and municipalities from passing and enacting ordinances, moratoriums or other laws to curb the use of GMOs. That way Monsanto can control the Federal Congress, Supreme Court and White House without having to control every single state or local government.

Preemption was again used in HR 1599, the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 (dubbed by many the DARK Act, or Denying Americans the Right to Know Act), a bill which was recently passed and which is another classic example Orwellian doublespeak in its name. The bill does nothing to produce “safety” or “accuracy” around GMOs – it prevents restrictions on unsafe GMOs and GMO labeling, and keeps Americans in the dark when it comes to accurately knowing what their food is and where it comes from.

What is Preemption?

Preemption is the legal principle that when a law from a higher court and lower court conflict, the law from the higher court displaces or takes precedence over the law from the lower court. In the case of the USA, people argue that when federal and state law conflict, federal law preempts state law due to the Supremacy Clause (Article 5, Paragraph 2) of the US Constitution (there are some who argue that the States created the Federal Government and therefore should be higher in law, but unfortunately the Supreme Court has ruled the Federal Government takes supremacy, so now we have hundreds of years of legal precedent. The Federal Government has taken the power unto itself and it’s going to be difficult to wrest control back from them).

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