WHITE HOUSE PETITION SITE OFFERS UNSCIENTIFIC ISSUE
By William Boardman Email address removed
More Americans want genetically modified food labeled than want their state to secede from the United States -- true or false?
Everyone wants to know "what the American people are thinking," and no one wants to admit that they'd be thinking a variety of contradictory things all at once, if it was ever possible to pin them down. But "WE the PEOPLE" is a White House website started in 2011, where anyone can petition the government for the redress of any grievance that comes to mind. As of November 12, with numbers changing constantly, this expression of the First Amendment had 72 petitions that give some inkling of what some Americans might be thinking.
By this standard, with 63,679 signatures on four petitions, more Americans "Support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods (GMOs)" or similar action more than any other single petition subject on the site. According to one petition, created April 12, 2012:
More than forty countries, including Russia and China, already require labels on genetically engineered foods. And a recent poll found that nearly all Democrats (93%), Independents (90%), and Republicans (89%) support labeling of GMOs. At a time when partisan rancor dominates the public conversation, there are few topics that can muster such overwhelming support.
And although over 1 million people submitted comments in favor of labeling, the FDA has yet to act.
The second most signed petition turns one part of the First Amendment against another, as 36,407 people have signed to have the U.S. government "outlaw offending prophets of major religions," which rather goes against the Constitutional prohibition against Congress passing any law for establishing religion, since the September 17 petition asks Congress:
To enact a law that prohibits any action or literature that offend prophets of major religions:
Such acts offend billions of people, and cause unrest in the world. Furthermore, acts like this contradict the essence of coexistence and peace among humans. Labeling these acts as freedom of speech is similar to labeling murder as freedom of expression!
Five other petitions have gathered 30,000 or more signatures:
- 33,922 people want to "Remove the monument and not to support any international harassment related to this issue against the people of Japan" -- which refers to a monument in New Jersey memorializing the "comfort women" of Korea, about who the petition alleges there have been false and fabricated charges against Japan.
- 33,144 people want to "Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research." According to the petition: "The highly successful Public Access Policy of the National Institutes of Health proves that this can be done without disrupting the research process."