QR Codes and GMOs: The State of the Dark Act

  • Will the right to know what’s in your food be held in the QR fortress? Maybe. Find out more…
  • Obama forecast to go back on yet another campaign promise
  • Plus, three easy ways to kill the GMO labeling bill!

Dear Living Well Daily Reader,

Last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives chose to side with the interests of Big Food instead of its citizens who want to know what is in their food. They did this by passing the Senate’s version of the DARK Act.

Now, the bill is on President Obama’s to-do list.

And since both the House and Senate have elected to strip away food ingredient and production transparency, it’s expected that President Obama will follow suit and pass the bill.

If the DARK Act is signed into law, American consumers will finally get GMO labels on their food products. But not the kind you can actually read.

You see, the government is doing everything in their power to keep GMO labeling from being clear, concise and consumer-friendly.

Instead of being able to look at a food package and know what exactly is in it, you now need two things to get the information — a smartphone and the internet.

--The QR Fortress

This controversial bill allows food producers to conceal GMO ingredients behind a QR code — you know, those outdated, unreliable, black-and-white pixelated squares that you either can’t get to work or totally ignore.

While the bill also allows companies to disclose ingredients by text (which requires a phone with text capabilities), Big Food will likely opt for holding ingredient information in a fortress made of unreliable QR codes. This will make it difficult to ensure consumer access to the shameful GMO ingredient info we are looking for. Plus, it also requires consumers to have smartphones with internet.

So not only does the QR fortress provide Big Food with a way to conceal their genetically modified ingredients, but it also marginalizes people who can’t afford, don’t know how to use or simply don’t want a smartphone.

In other words, QR codes are just one more way for Big Food and Big Biotech to keep most Americans in the dark.

Artist: Mike Flugennock www.sinkers.com

Some Democrats, like Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts, criticized the bill on such points during the floor debate last week:

In order to access the information through the QR code, an individual must have a smartphone and must have access to the internet. The reality is that not every American has access to a smartphone or the internet.

He went on to explain that even folks who have access to smartphones would have to waste endless amounts of time scanning every potential purchase to see if it contains GMOs.

Not to mention the passing of this bill would also negate state-by-state GMO labeling mandates such as Vermont’s law that went into effect on the first of this month.

If Obama passes the bill, it will go against one of the promises that helped to get him elected — and some folks aren’t letting it go unnoticed, as you can see by GMWatch’s tweet below:

Source: Twitter

--Kill the Bill

But the bad news doesn’t stop there.

If the law passes, it will grant food and biotech companies lax labeling requirements. This means the agreement between the government and food producers doesn’t mandate fines, penalties or recalls for noncompliance. Plus, it comes with plenty of loopholes. These will likely exempt lots of GMO ingredients from labeling laws.

For instance, the FDA reports that the bill would not require foods with highly refined oils and sweeteners like canola oil and high-fructose corn syrup to be labeled if they are GMO. Once processed, no genetic material remains in these refined products that would identify their GMO origins.

However, the Department of Agriculture will be overseeing the GMO labeling law, and they don’t agree with the FDA’s interpretation. It’s likely the definition of food that does or does not require labeling will end up in court.

While we await President Obama’s decision, we can take action against the passing of this bill. Our friends over at the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance gave us a few suggestions on how to get the president’s attention on this matter:

  1. Call the White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111.
  2. Sign the petition against the DARK Act. Click here to access it.
  3. Email the White House. Click here to get started.  You can copy and paste the text below:

I urge President Obama to veto S. 764, the DARK Act, which pre-empts state laws on labeling. This bill is riddled with loopholes. Worse yet, by allowing companies to use QR codes instead of words on the package, it creates barriers for every person who wants to find out information about what they’re eating — and it discriminates against low-income families, minorities and seniors, all of whom are unlikely to have smartphones and/or the comfort level to use them to scan QR codes.

Less than half of all low-income Americans can afford a smartphone. And only 21% of Americans surveyed have scanned QR codes. But everyone has to eat, and all Americans should know what they’re buying.

President Obama, stand by your campaign promise that people deserve the right to know what’s in their food and veto this terrible bill.


I urge you to take action today!

Live well,

Natalie Moore
Managing editor, Living Well Daily

P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for the Dementia Summit! This FREE online event hosted by our affiliate partners will start Monday, July 25, at 10 a.m. EST. It’s a unique opportunity to discover how to prevent, slow down and even reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia. Each day, you’ll get exclusive access to videos from experts in the field, with topics ranging from coconut oil for the brain, to essential oils for brain health, to dietary strategies to avoid brain inflammation. Plus much more. Click here to sign up!

P.P.S. Be sure to tune in tomorrow! We will be answering your questions from the mailbag. Got questions for us? We would be glad to answer them! Submit all questions to nmoore@lfb.org


Sources

[1] Obama Expected to Sign Industry-Backed GMO Label Bill Into Law

[2] Obama Promises to Label GMOs

[3] G.M.O. Labeling Bill Gains House Approval

[4] Tell President Obama to Veto the DARK Act!

[5] Recent Trends in GE Adoption

[6] Sietefoods FAQ

Natalie Moore

Written By Natalie Moore

Natalie Moore is a dedicated health researcher with a passion for finding healthy, natural, and science-based solutions. After a decade of direct healthcare experience in western and natural medicine, she was involved in public health research before joining Living Well Daily.

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