Representative Jack Kingston is the Republican representative of the 1st congressional district of Georgia. Jack Kingston is a great friend to the industrial/processed food industries, as well as the producers of genetically modified organisms; corporations within these industries are among the largest contributors to his political campaigns, and in 2011, Kingston was named the “legislator of the year” by the Biotechnical Industry Association. In 2011 and 2012 alone, Representative Kingston’s friendship towards the agri-business and food industries has netted him (and his PAC) over $200,000 in campaign donations – this makes him
Throughout his career, Rep. Kingston has protected the interests of industrial farming by fighting regulations and preserving subsidies for agri-business firms and more recently, Jack Kingston inserted a provision into the 2012 Farm Bill which will massively benefit the GMO producers. This provision is fairly straightforward, and will allow the circumventing of the courts and regulatory agencies by producers and consumers of genetically modified goods. If it passes, this provision will prevent lawsuits from getting judges to stop the planting of GMO crops, while a legal challenge is pending (If I challenge the approval of a crop now and a judge agrees, it is possible for the judge to stop the planting of the questionable crop until the legal challenge is finished; if this provision goes through, the crop will still be planted until the legal challenge is resolved – something that could take years). It makes no sense for a representative of the people to support a legal provision which allows corporations to sell goods which some believe to be dangerous and are suing to stop the sale of; this is a recipe for disaster, and will only be compounded by the fact that the same Farm Bill that includes this provision will not force GMO producers to mention the fact that their goods are GMOs.
The fact that Rep. Kingston has taken significant amounts of money from the agribusiness industry isn’t uncommon when compared with other Washington politicians – they regularly take money from special interests. However, what is not acceptable is a representative of the people endangering the very people who he represents (and many people living elsewhere) in service to the companies which pay many of his political bills. We, the people, should stand up and protest this blatant cronyism and demand that our representatives put our interests before the interests of their donors: Demand that Rep. Jack Kingston retract his provision, which could prevent judges from pulling toxic products off of the shelves for years (and until it is too late to control the damage which they cause).
It is also of note that Representative Kingston has a history of using his public power to support a private agenda. In 2008, Rep. Kingston earmarked $6.3 million in federal funding to refurbish the beach outside of his house on Tybee Island. While the erosion of coastlines is a serious problem, Kingston's earmark, refurbishing the shore near his vacation home, dramatically increases the worth of the home and is an obviously self-serving act. Given his history of utilizing public funds to increase his own wealth, it is not unlikely that Rep. Kingston will utilize that same power to assist those who promise to help him remain in power (ex. GMO producers).