In the past week, my inbox has been filled with Google alerts about the new GMO "labeling " bill, S 764, which is on President Obama's desk to sign into law. The lies that are being fed to the American public are not, however, being eaten up by savvy consumers.
We know that this so call labeling law is a farce and a direct attempt to destroy democracy. We know that many of our Senators and Congress members are lying to the American public and to our president.
1. Nowhere on the package will the words "GMO", "GE" or "Genetic engineering" be required to be shown.
2. The QR code, website, telephone number or symbol which is "required" will not be enforceable by fines of any amount, and therefore is not mandatory.
3. The bill eliminates Vermont's state law that required clearly written GMO labeling displayed on packages as "Produced with genetic engineering." That bill went into effect in Vermont on July 1 with a grace period of six months. S .764 also pre-empts the Maine, Connecticut and Virginia GMO labeling laws.
4. Even the FDA criticizes S 764 for not including the majority of GMOs. S.764 also delays the "labeling" from going into effect for two years, during which Americans will continue to not know if GMOs and related pesticides are in their food.
These reasons make all the headlines announcing that "Mandatory GMO labeling Law Passes Congress" as misleading and false. What is really happening is that our Senate and Congress are stopping the Vermont law from being enforceable by Jan 1, with a $1,000 fine per UPC code which is not labeled " Produced with genetic engineering" on the shelf.
In fact, claiming that a package is labeled for a certain ingredient without using the words on the package is a sham. Senior citizens, low income citizens, many of which are minorities and rural residents, are discriminated against by being required to use a smart phone or cell phone for codes or websites to find out if GMOs are in their food. Many cannot afford a smart phone or to use up the minutes on their pay As You Go plans. Having a "labeling" bill, which does not make the information readily accessible to every citizen is discriminatory and un-American.
Due to the specifics of the definition, this bill also does not define GMOs in such a way as to include all GMOs. Highly processed oils, sugar and corn syrup, the most popular forms of GMO ingredients, would not be included. How can S 764 be called a GMO "labeling" bill if it does not label the majority of GMOs?
This bill eliminates hard fought state laws, which were won by having over 50 hearings and countless hours of political discussion, and destroys the democratic process. Not only would state laws requiring clear labeling of GMOs on food packages be taken away, but Virginia's law to label GMO seeds would be gone as well. Not labeling GMO seeds is disastrous for American farmers, and not labeling GMO food is already disastrous for American health. Numerous studies show serious, irreparable harm from GMOs and the related pesticide residues.
The seat belt laws were passed in states first, leading the way for the federal bill to pass which has ended up saving millions of lives. Preempting that process sets a dangerous precedence for future state laws and the protection of Americans. Think gun laws, immigration laws, healthcare laws -- what will our federal government override that your state has fairly decided upon?
Our Senate and Congress are guilty of hiding GMOs. President Obama must veto S 764.
The public deserves the truth.