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 White House 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.”
- 31,203 people want to “Not Allow The FDA To Regulate Premium Cigars.” This petition seeks to prevent regulations from being drawn, saying that regulation would cost jobs and hurt retailers.
- 31,199 people want to “Persuade South Korea (ROK) to accept Japan’s proposal on territorial dispute over islets.” Japan’s proposal is to have the dispute over the island of Takeshima considered by the International Court of Justice. [A third petition with 29,568 signatures, addresses both comfort women and Takeshima islands “which has abundant methane hydrate.”]
- 30,521 people want to “support the Polish Nation appeal for an international investigation of the Smolensk [Russia] 2010 air crash.” In April 2010, a Russian plane crash killed the Polish President, First Lady, and 94 government officials. The Russians, investigating themselves, have ignored reports of two explosions in the plane before it crashed.
Of the numerous petitions (23) to allow individual states to secede from the United States, the most-signed petition is for Texas with 38,087 signatures asking the United States to “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government” (languages almost identical to that in other secession petitions] – as posted November 9, the Texas argument is:
The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.
Other states with petitions to secede are:
- North Carolina, 7,529 signatures
- South Carolina, two petitions, 10,838 signatures total
- Georgia, two petitions, 12,124 signatures total
- Florida, 8,464 signatures
- Alabama, 8,521 signatures
- Mississippi, 6,071 signatures
- Louisiana, 17,210 signatures
- Oklahoma, 2,339 signatures
- Arizona, 2,173 signatures
- Missouri, two petitions, 9,597 signatures total
- Arkansas, 4,814 signatures
- Tennessee, 7,223 signatures
- Kentucky, 6,002 signatures
- Indiana, 6,110signatures
- Oregon, 5,156 signatures
- Montana, 5,181 signatures
- Colorado, 6,527 signatures
- North Dakota, 4.641 signatures
- Michigan, 5,567 signatures
- New Jersey, 4,815 signatures
- New York, 5,676 signatures
That’s roughly 146,578 signatures for secession, more than twice as many as for labeling GMOs. Since every signer is identified under each petition on the website, it would be possible to determine whether these are 146,578 individuals or not.
Anyone can start a petition and the process is fairly simple. The terms set by the White House require 150 signatures in 30 days to become publicly searchable and 25,000 signatures in 30 days to get a White House response. Failing to cross these thresholds, a petition will be removed.