google-site-verification: google2cfa6877cbf464e2.html The Grand Theory of Libertarianism: August 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Sympathy for Monsanto?

President Obama will soon be signing a law that will place fewer restrictions for labeling genetically modified organisms.  In an article on it is pointed out how this legislation favours Monsanto a large producer of GMO's.  The article also gives a brief history of the close relationship between Monsanto and the U.S. Government.  The main gist of the article is that it is wrong for the U.S. government to interfere with the labeling requirements set by individual States such as Vermont.

A Libertarian analysis would be quick to point out that it is wrong for any company to use state power to accomplish what they cannot achieve peacefully in the market place.

Behind every tax and regulation is the threat of force.  Fines, imprisonment, or death (if you decide to resist).  Now if a company like Monsanto enters the market and wants to sell products made with GMO's, I think they should be allowed to do so.  It is not the responsibility of the government to protect us from harm.  And just as individuals should not be subject to coercion, neither should companies.

I can hear the objections already, the non-aggression principle states that no-one is allowed to initiate force against another and GMO's are known to be harmful.  But I would reply, then do not buy them.  No one is forcing you to purchase products with GMO's.

The market is fully capable of weeding out bad actors without the help of government.  If a company does not list their products as containing GMO's, then it is likely that they do.  It is a market advantage for a company to voluntarily list their products as non-GMO and people who are concerned can go ahead make their choices based on the presence or absence of a label.

Neither do we need the government to police products as being certified organic or non-GMO.  Third party agencies can easily do this job.  Companies who are not transparent or who break faith with their customers will summarily be judged in the market.  With the availability and instant nature of communication in the modern era, it just makes sense to be up front with your customers.

Our focus should be on breaking the relationship between government and business so that we can punish or reward bad actors directly by withholding our dollars or exchanging them for good products.