The Proposed GMO Labeling Law: Good or Bad?
Congressman Mike Pompeo (R-KS) is gearing up to reintroduce his beloved “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.”
Doesn’t the name make you feel all warm and squishy inside?
At first glance, it seems like a good thing. It would require companies that want to introduce a GMO food into the market to notify the FDA and public and provide evidence of safety.
But then, it takes a turn.
The bill would also give FDA the authority to decide whether GMO labelling is required, and the FDA’s current stance is that labelling should be voluntary.
It reminds me of that old joke: “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”
New, modern twist:
“We’re from the FDA and we’re here to give you safe and accurate food labels. And we’re in charge of what determines a food label ‘safe’ and ‘accurate.’ Oh, and the former vice president for public policy of Monsanto now works as deputy commissioner here. But we’re not corrupt, and there’s no revolving door here… no, sirree…”
And to make matters worse, this bill would prohibit states from making their own labelling laws for GMO foods.
Heaping piles of trash like this potential law brings light on a bigger issue: How should food labels on GMOs be handled?
I’ll let Jasmine, our Quality Assurance expert, take the floor, to give her insights:
Personally, I think if a food product contains a genetically modified ingredient, it should be required to be put on the label.
However, the issue is that the potential for GMO contamination is real, meaning that a field of non-GM wheat could easily become contaminated with GM wheat grown in the area if the wind blows some seeds into that field.
So say you’re a company and you think you’re using non-GM wheat, so you don’t put a GMO statement on your label. You then risk some greedy lawyer or consumer testing your product, finding GMO wheat and starting a class action lawsuit against you for mislabeling your product.
The only way to ensure a product is GMO-free and not require a statement on the label is through testing. And that can be financially impossible for small businesses.
I don’t have a good solution, but for right now, the best way I know to avoid GMOs is to buy Non-GMO Project-verified foods.
Nate, what do you think?
And now I’ll steal the spotlight right back…
Required GMO labelling.
It makes so much sense… right?
That’s exactly how the government grows. One of the tricks they bust out of their big, dirty bag is the ole “common sense” approach and looking out for our safety. GMOs. Beverage sizes. Alcohol. Marijuana. Health care. Government wraps around industry like a boa constrictor, all the while assuring us it’s for our own good.
Capt. Jean-Luc Picard said it best when the Borg invaded his ship: “I will not sacrifice the Enterprise. We’ve made too many compromises already, too many retreats. They invade our space, and we fall back. They assimilate entire worlds, and we fall back. Not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”
The creepy consequences of a food supply drenched in GMOs is the exact reason why the feds should butt out of it. Government has a multi-thousand-year track record of making things much, much worse.
But what about the danger of GMOs? If they aren’t required to be listed on the label, how will we know they’re present?
While putting the burden on organic and non-GMO producers to label their products sounds unfair, it’s actually an opportunity for non-GMO producers to gain market advantage and ultimately win.
Think about it:
If you’re in a supermarket and see 10 products on the shelf and only one is labelled “non-GMO”… which one are you going to buy? If you’re like the affluent, educated, health-minded market segment in this country, you’ll spend your money on the non-GMO product.
The maker will reap the profits, and GMO sellers will suffer.
Testing can be handled by third-party companies that specialize in it. More than one in operation will ensure prices for the service are driven down.
That’s how we beat GMO. The market will decide.
…And finally, we’d like to put the spotlight on you.
What do you think should be done? How should GMOs be treated on labels? Who should get the final decision? Email us and share: firstname.lastname@example.org
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