Rep. Tom Reed, Man of Mystery

Genetically Engineered Food

(Click on the letter twice to enlarge it)

Is Rep. Reed in favor of GMO labeling?

We can not tell from his response to Peter. It tells him that he (or someone on his staff) knows about the Genetically Engineered Foods Act. It tells him that Agriculture is an important industry in New York, and that his staff will monitor the bill (Shouldn’t they monitor all bills?)

The New NY 23rd has pointed out our congressman’s inconsistence stances. William Hungerford has written numerous articles about how other congress members ( Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI) and Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA) ) inform their constituents about how they feel about the bills in congress. It is a mystery to constituent Peter on how ours feel about a bill he finds important. Granted I don’t know what Peter asked Rep. Reed, but this form letter response doesn’t give much information.

With a little research responded to Peter with this:

Reed has NOT co-sponsored it. (There are 37 co-sponsors, 36 are democrats) The person who introduced the bill is a Democrat. There was a similar bill in 2013, which died in committee which Reed also did not co-sponsored. (Only Democrats co-sponsored it in).  My guess is that Reed is banking on it not getting out of committee and wants you, and others think that he would support it. My bet is If that cost companies more money he will be against it.

Peter has attended a few of Rep. Reed’s Town Hall Meets with me since Reed’s early days when we were the NY 29th.  He has commented on how much Rep. Reed has improved his demeanor at those events. That has not carried over in his written communications. Rep. Reed remains a man of mystery.

About pystew

Retired Teacher, political science geek, village trustee. I lean a little left, but like a good political discussion. My blog, the New NY 23rd (http://newny23rd) is about discussing the issues facing the people of our new congressional district. Let's hear all sides of the issues, not just what the candidates want us to hear.
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19 Responses to Rep. Tom Reed, Man of Mystery

  1. whungerford says:

    H.R.913 – Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act


  2. josephurban says:

    I have a lot more respect for the openly nut case Tea Party politicians who are honest about where they stand. They take a position and explain why they have taken it. I prefer them to the cynical, dishonest, “let’s wait and see which way the wind blows”, double -talking politicians who just make me feel slimy all over. You can decide for yourself into which category Mr Reed fits.


  3. Deb Meeker says:

    I received the same response exactly in a ditto email. A cleverly worded non answer that, for those less cynical than I, might cause them to take hope.

    Congressman Tom Reed is all about: ” getting back to you”, “monitoring that bill”, ” looking into”, “taking it back to DC for more discussion”, ” inviting more people’s questions”, and a myriad of other euphemisms for blowing people off about (fill in the blank). Unfortunately in general, he does exactly the same thing in person.

    How can we get to know Tom Reed? Nevermind what he says or doesn’t say – just look at his votes.


  4. BOB McGILL says:‎
    Currently, up to 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered as are 91
    percent … and the potential contamination of all non-genetically engineered life
    forms with … CFS maintains that any foods that already contain genetically
    engineered …
    . It has been estimated that upwards of 75% of processed foods on supermarket shelves – from soda to soup, crackers to condiments – contain genetically engineered ingredients.

    By removing the genetic material from one organism and inserting it into the permanent genetic code of another, the biotech industry has created an astounding number of organisms that are not produced by nature and have never been seen on the plate. These include potatoes with bacteria genes, “super” pigs with human growth genes, fish with cattle growth genes, tomatoes with flounder genes, corn with bacteria genes, and thousands of other altered and engineered plants, animals and insects. At an alarming rate, these creations are now being patented and released into our environment and our food supply.
    Maybe someday they will genetically engineer people and eliminate idoits 🙂


  5. BOB McGILL says:
    We’ve committed to labeling all food products in our US and Canadian stores to
    indicate whether they contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) by 2018.

    Vatican Praises Genetically Modified Crops, While U.S. Judge Orders Their Destruction
    By Rebecca Boyle Posted December 1, 2010
    “It’s been a strange few days in the world of genetically modified food. For the first time, a judge has ordered the destruction of a GMO crop, saying it was planted in violation of a previous ruling. Meanwhile, Vatican science advisers are urging support for GMO crops, saying scientists have a moral duty to help the world’s poor.

    On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White ordered the removal of genetically modified sugar beet stecklings from hundreds of acres of farm fields, saying the U.S. Department of Agriculture improperly gave permission for their planting. Sugar beet stecklings are planted in the fall, uprooted during the winter, and replanted to produce seed.

    Last fall, White ruled the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) had violated the National Environmental Policy Act by allowing the plantings without analyzing their potential impacts on the environment and human health. This August, he said no more GMO beets could be planted until a NEPA review was done. But some stecklings were still planted in Arizona and Oregon, prompting the environmental law group Earthjustice and the Center for Food Safety to file suit in September. White’s latest ruling answers that lawsuit and orders the GMO stecklings to be removed from the ground.

    In 2010, 95 percent of the nation’s sugar beets were genetically modified to tolerate glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup weed killer developed by St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. Half the nation’s sugar comes from sugar beets, which are sliced and boiled into a syrupy mash. In January 2008, public interest groups sued to challenge the USDA’s deregulation of the crop, starting a cascade of legal action that led to Tuesday’s ruling.

    Environmental groups note that the proliferation of herbicide-resistant plants has led to superweeds, that the use of chemicals can pollute land and water and that genetically modified crops have not been sufficiently studied. But Monsanto and other GM food advocates argue “Roundup Ready” beets and other crops allow farmers to avoid tilling their land to remove weeds, and that genetic modification in general can improve crop yields and provide tolerance to pests and drought.

    The Vatican is apparently on their side. In a statement (PDF) this week, Vatican science advisers said opposition to GM crops in developed countries is unjustified. The Pontifical Academy expressed provisional support for GM crops 10 years ago, and the statement is the result of a week-long meeting in May 2009 at the Vatican, convened by a Swiss scientist who helped develop vitamin A-enhanced golden rice.

    Academy member Peter Raven, immediate past president of the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis (which has received funds from hometown firm Monsanto), told New Scientist although the global community will never have a unified official line on GM crops, “Our statement is about as close as you can get to one.”

    The 14-page document makes the case for GM crops as a way to feed the world, and says it’s no more dangerous than evolution:

    “The possible evolutionary risks of genetic engineering events cannot be greater than the risks of the natural process of biological evolution or of the application of chemical mutagenesis.”

    The academy even tackles the question of whether scientists are “playing God” by messing with nature, and the answer is no: “New human forms of intervention in the natural world should not be seen as contrary to the natural law that God has given to the Creation.”

    Vatican law or American law, this debate is far from over.


  6. BOB McGILL says:

    Dr John Sanford, Ph.D. (University of Wisconsin)
    Dr John Sanford, A Cornell University Professor for more than 25 years, John has been semi-retired since 1998. His Ph.D. was in plant breeding and plant genetics. While a professor at Cornell, John has trained graduate students and conducted genetic research at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. During this time, John bred new crop varieties using conventional breeding and then became heavily involved in the newly-emerging field of plant genetic engineering. John has published over 80 scientific publications and has been granted over 30 patents. His most significant scientific contributions involve three inventions, the biolistic (“gene gun”) process, pathogen-derived resistance, and genetic immunization. A large fraction of the transgenic crops (in terms of numbers and acreage) grown in the world today were genetically engineered using the gene gun technology developed by John and his collaborators. John also started two biotech enterprises derived from his research, Biolistics, Inc., and Sanford Scientific, Inc. John still holds a position at Cornell (Courtesy Associate Professor), but has largely retired from Cornell and has started a small non-profit organization, Feed My Sheep Foundation.

    A scientific convert to six-day creation, his groundbreaking new book Genetic Entropy and the Mystery of the Genome demonstrates why human DNA is inexorably deteriorating at an alarming rate, thus cannot be millions of years old.
    I knew this guy back 20 years ago, he had a lab in in Seneca County.


  7. BOB McGILL says:

    Sanford Scientific Inc
    877 Marshall Rd
    Waterloo , NY 13165
    (315) 539-1200
    Maybe Tom should pay this guy a visit. Maybe you shouldn’t jump to conclusions


  8. BOB McGILL says:

    deleted my posts, I see ? What’s the matter, don’t like the fact that most of the research on GMOs’ comes from a retired Cornell professor working in an old farm house on Marshal Road in Waterloo


  9. pystew says:

    Bob, I have been away all day. Thanks for the information but the point of the article was Rep. Reed’s response does not tell if he is in favor of labeling GMO or not. We should know how he feels.


  10. BOB McGILL says:

    He probably feels the same as I do. No matter what Tom does or thinks, you won’t like it and will just twist everything to suit your derogatory agenda. Keep in mind that GMOs’ have been around for a long time and almost everything you eat may have a GMO ingredient of some kind. Read a label, any food label, bet you don’t know what half the stuff is or where it came from. 🙂


  11. josephurban says:

    Dr Sanford certainly had a productive early career in the area of genetics. However, his scientific credentials are severely questioned by his conversion in 2000 to the “young earth” hypothesis of the creationists. Contrary to all geological data he insists the Earth is less than 100,000 years old. He also subscribes to the erroneous “complexity proves design” hypothesis. He also makes unsupported claims (that almost all mutations are harmful, for example) that are not born out by any scientific data. By rejecting the most elementary scientific concepts he has put himself out of the category of “scientist” and into the category of “minister”. Too bad, as he has done a lot for the advancement of real science previous to 2000.
    Personally, I don’t put too much weight on the ideas of “Vatican scientists” (a contradiction in terms) or creationists. If the Vatican is concerned about world hunger maybe they can sell some of their art and buy food for the poor?


  12. pystew says:

    In his original email to me, Peter said, “If I read this right Reed is in favor of GMO labeling. A Surprise.” No offense Bob, but having a Reed supporter telling us what he “probably” feels doesn’t quite cut it for me. And it doesn’t really matter what I think either. My complaint isn’t about GMO labeling, it is about how poorly Reed communicates with his constituents. I feel that it is done on purpose.


  13. josephurban says:

    Bob. I have no problem with Reed disagreeing with me on issues. That is ok. But I have a problem when he refuses to tell me where he stands on issues. For example. Campaigning on saving Social Security and then, in his very first bill, proposing a reduction in SS Disability benefits. Unlike many conservatives, he does not seem to me to have the courage of his convictions…or…he just teats the winds and has no convictions at all. Where does he stand on GMOs? Do people have a right to know or not? I searched his website by typing in GMO. Results: NO results.


  14. josephurban says:

    He doesn’t teat the winds, he “tests” them. Oops.


  15. BOB McGILL says:

    HEY, do you think all a congressman has to do is jump every time some crackpot has an issue ? How many people are in the 23rd District ? does he have to jump every time you whine? You are probably on his “IGNORE LIST” 🙂


  16. BOB McGILL says:

    did a little looking around and politico has an article than says that the GMO label supporters are against this bill. Imagine that the people who want labels don’t like the bill 🙂


  17. josephurban says:

    No, Bob.And as usual you distort what others say. I never said Tom had to “jump” on every issue (But you can be sure he “jumps, humps and bumps when a wealthy contributor SUMMONS him”). However, since he has been asked about GMOS and has made rather vague statements about it, I would expect he would do some research and have a policy statement on his website. Isn’t that what representatives are supposed to do? Research issues. Take a stand. Be a man and say what you think? Or is a representative supposed to ignore major issues when they are controversial? Or hide his real agenda (as he did with SS) in order to avoid taking a stand?:)


  18. josephurban says:

    Well, Bob. As usual, the devils are in the details, not the title of the bill. The federal bill as proposed would ask for VOLUNTARY LABELING of GMO contained products. VOLUNTARY. Which is why agribusiness supports it. Kind of like a VOLUNTARY speed limit.
    So, why don’t people who want food labeled support it? Because, as a FEDERAL law it would take precedence over STATE laws that already REQUIRE labeling. (I guess agribusiness and the GOP is not so much for state’s rights on this issue. LOL). This would mean that all state requirements would be challenged in court. States that require labeling might lose that right.
    So, you see. You need to look behind code words and headlines and bill titles and instead look for the details.
    (We see similar misinformation when folks compare the Federal Religious Freedom Act with the various state laws…similar names, but totally different in application.)


  19. whungerford says:

    I do have a problem with Reed disagreeing with me on important issues. His views too often are based on misconceptions; they hurt many of his constituents. His core beliefs are that taxes need to be lower and the Federal budget should balance. To achieve this he is willing to cut SS, health, and unemployment benefits to save the programs. Thus his understanding of “save” is radically different from mine. As he feels that the social safety net is unnecessary, it merely encourages dependency, he has no compunction against diminishing and destroying it.


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