There are currently at least 24 states that have introduced their own versions of genetically modified food labeling laws.
A new bill will sweep them all into oblivion under the federal rug.
It will provide less information to consumers, throw all authority onto the FDA and will paint consumers who have valid concerns as bullies and loons with false “activist claims.” In other words – the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 is supporting something that is safe – if you pipe up, you are unreasonably pushing something dangerous. The danger? A simply label change depicting a GMO. One that is considerably more humble than current and constant label changes that include “No preservatives!” “No HFCS!” “Gluten-free!” Unlike what the bill’s title suggests, it means less ingredient labeling and less oversight.
But to have states make their own guidelines (in response to their constituents) is too confusing of a mish-mash according to the HR 4432’s sponsor, US Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.).
His press release, published Wednesday, is already stirring up strife in its comments section. I highly recommend you read his intentions in his own words. This proposal would forbid states from requiring its food producers to inform buyers of GMOs in the ingredients labels.
We’ve got a number of states that are attempting to put together a patchwork quilt of food labeling requirements with respect to genetic modification of foods. That makes it enormously difficult to operate a food system. Some of the campaigns in some of these states aren’t really to inform consumers but rather aimed at scaring them. What this bill attempts to do is set a standard.
To opponents, he added:
It has to date made food safer and more abundant. It has been an enormous boon to all of humanity.
You can also see by his press release, how adamant he is on his beliefs in biotech safety, and their lines about feeding the world, better nutrition and less pesticides. That belief seems to pivot on comments he made that “‘there is not a single example’ of anyone getting sick after eating food made with GMOs.” He views labeling as fear mongering, like using the same approach of cigarette warnings, but on food.
Furthermore, according to Center for Food Safety, the bill will:
- Prevent states from adopting their own GE labeling laws.
- Block any attempt by states to make it illegal for food companies to put a “natural” label on products that contain GE ingredients.
- Prevent the Food and Drug Administration from requiring companies to label GE ingredients and instead continue a failed “voluntary” labeling policy.
They are calling it the “Deny Americans the Right-to-Know Act (DARK Act).”
Recent posts by Heather Callaghan: