Clean Yield has joined consumers and activists concerned about genetically modified foods in calling for President Obama to veto S. 764, a deeply flawed bill being spun as a solution to the labeling question.
In 2014, Vermont caused a stir by becoming the first state in the nation to require food manufacturers to label products made with genetically modified ingredients. Large retail food manufacturers led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association then ramped up the push for a federal law to preempt Vermont’s before it could take go into effect this month, and succeeded. The bill Congress sent to the White House for signature gives three options for labeling — a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone (known as a QR code) — as opposed to Vermont’s, which would have required the written text “produced with genetic engineering.”
This is a disappointing and cynical compromise. Labeling genetically engineered foods is supported by 93% of consumers, but who among us wishes to scan the label of any and every food item that goes into our shopping carts? Nor does every shopper have access to a cell phone or a steady internet connection. As Vermont Congressman Peter Welch asked from the House floor, “If there is an acknowledgement about the right of a consumer to have access to information, why not give them the information in plain and simple English?”
Clean Yield signed on to the DARK Act Coalition letter this week, which reminds President Obama of his 2007 promise to “ let folks know if their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they are buying.” We urge readers to contact the White House at (202) 456-1111 or sign this petition.
Tags: DARK Act, gmo, Grocery Manufacturers Association