Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) was Cleveland’s mayor when the Cuyahoga River caught fire over 20 years ago. Now he seemingly wants to preside over another disaster, opposing scientific progress in food technology every chance he gets. A recent Washington Post story referred to him as an “anti-genetic activist,” and a recent vote on the House floor shows how he got that label.
While Congress debated a bill that would continue funding for the Food and Drug Administration, Kucinich offered an amendment that would have prohibited the FDA from approving “any transgenic salmon or any other transgenic fish.” The Kucinich amendment would have kept the FDA from even starting the approval process. Luckily, the measure was defeated, with 79 Democrats crossing party lines to vote against this technophobic idea, but 13 Republicans supported it – more than enough to make a difference, had the Democrats all supported Kucinich.
Rep. Chip Pickering (R-MS) provided the most poignant opposition to Kucinich’s misguided activism, delivering the following remarks on the House floor: “U.S. agriculture producers and consumers have benefited greatly from advances in transgenic technology and in plant sciences. These new tools allow farmers to produce better products, while reducing chemical use, which provides a tremendous benefit to our environment. In addition, biotechnology holds the keys to eliminating world hunger and wiping out global poverty. While this technology has not been used widely in animal production, the promise for results similar to those that we have seen within the realm of plant science is evident. Let me just close real quickly by saying, oppose the Kucinich amendment. Stand for sound science. Do not stick our heads in the mud. This is a great technology that will make species stronger, healthier and better.”