Update: July 29th, 2016 – President Obama has signed this bill and it is now law.
The Senate voted 63-30 on July 7th, 2016 in favor of a sham GMO labeling bill that stops Vermont’s GMO labeling laws and allows companies to use QR codes instead of words on the package. It discriminates against low income families, minorities, mothers, seniors, the disabled & those without smartphones. The bill is now moving onto the House, and at this point, it appears very likely that it will pass sometime this week, probably today. I know you are upset, I am too. Here’s your 4 step action plan to fight back!
They claim this is an acceptable “GMO label” – but it’s clearly not!
Photo Credit: Consumers Union
There are further questions about whether most GMOs on the market will even be covered by the law because of the tricky language they used to define “bioengineering” – ingredients like soybean oil from Roundup Ready soy and sugar from GMO sugar beets probably won’t be included in the disclosure! Companies also won’t be held liable or get penalized if they don’t comply, so why should they even bother labeling their products accurately?
This bill was clearly written to protect Monsanto, the agrochemical and GMO industries and is a slap in the face of American consumers. Almost ALL OF US want GMOs labeled and Americans are being denied a basic right that dozens of countries, including Russia and China, provide their citizens.
“It is deeply disturbing that a majority in the Senate would support a bill that openly discriminates against America’s low income, rural and elderly populations. This denies them their right to know simply because they are not able to afford or have access to smartphones. The bill itself is poorly drafted and would exempt many and perhaps most current genetically engineered foods from labeling. It was written behind closed doors between a handful of Senators and the big chemical and food companies. It is a non-labeling bill disguised as a labeling bill, a sham and a legislative embarrassment.” – Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director, Center for Food Safety
It is absolutely disgusting that our government leaders care more about the money they receive from corporations than the will of the American people.
Yet, are we really surprised? This is not the first time that the government has failed us. We have seen it time and time again. We can’t look to our government to protect us.
Our government agencies, the FDA, USDA, and EPA have all failed us on so many levels, allowing companies to use and produce dozens of synthetic food additives and agricultural chemicals that are banned or heavily restricted in countries with stronger regulations.
Whether this sham “GMO labeling” bill becomes law or not, we still have the power. Here’s your action plan:
1. Sign this petition to ask President Obama to veto the bill here. President Obama signed the bill on July 29th, 2016 and it’s now law.
2. Spend your money on food companies that label their products clearly and avoid the covert QR codes and 1-800 numbers.
Every single time we spend money on food at the grocery store, farmer’s market, or in a restaurant, we are voting for what we want. Voting with our dollars and hitting the bottom line of the food companies is the best way to get their attention and force change. We’ve got to hit ’em where it hurts! That is their pocketbook. The simple act of voting with our dollars filters down into everyone that is producing our food. Those who are doing the right things will be rewarded – and those that are not will either change their ways or suffer the consequences. Collectively, we have been able to dramatically shape the marketplace into one that is increasing in supply of organic and non-GMO foods, and it is only going to keep improving!
Food companies should be scared to put a shady QR code on their products, because that is soon going to be a big shiny beacon that will make boycotting easy!
The instant you see a QR code on a product, there is no need to scan it. Just the fact that a company is using a QR code is all the information you need to realize that they are a traitor and don’t want to tell you the truth about their food. This is a company that has bought off our politicians and was looking for a way out, and we see right through their BS.
This is what the future holds for these companies (whether they realize it yet or not) and so now they have a very important choice to make.
This also goes for companies like Frito Lay, Campbell’s, General Mills, Mars, Kellogg’s and Lipton who have already started labeling the GMOs in their products. What choice will they make? You can bet I’ll be paying attention.
Going forward, it is as simple as this: QR Code = Put The Product Back Down & Run!
Leave the QR codes on the shelf, and they will pay attention! As always, I believe the safest food that you can buy for yourself and your family is organic. Certified organic food is prohibited from being produced with GMOs, synthetic pesticides are banned, and many of the drugs that are given to farm animals (hormones, antibiotics) are prohibited as well. However, consumers should not be forced to buy organic food to avoid GMOs.
GMO labeling is about transparency and giving consumers a choice.
Don’t we ALL deserve to know exactly what is in our food and how it was produced? Why shouldn’t American consumers be given GMO labels so they can make their own decisions about whether they want to buy food made with GMOs or not? If food companies support GMO technology, why wouldn’t they want to label products that contain them? Why don’t they consider it a badge of honor?
I will not stop raising awareness until everyone has access to safe and healthy food, with clear and accurate labeling.
3. If your local grocery stores do not sell clearly marked non-GMO and organic food, send them a letter like this and ask them to do so – they will carry what you want to buy.
4. Last but not least – Remember, this is a revolution and we are winning!
If you want to be healthy you’ve got to take control!!! No government agency, big food company, or anyone else is going to do it for you. You can’t trust anyone but yourself.
They may be winning the GMO labeling battle, but WE are winning the war! Just look at what we have accomplished so far:
- Even without labels, over 40% of American consumers are avoiding or reducing GMOs in their diet.
- Sales of Non-GMO verified products grew by over $8 billion in 2014, and keep going up.
- Non-GMO food sales have grown to over $200 billion in the U.S. alone, globally to over $550 billion, and are expected to nearly DOUBLE worldwide by 2019.
- Approximately 2,000 new non-GMO products are launched each year in the U.S., up from a few hundred a decade ago.
- The demand for organic food has increased dramatically as well, with essentially double-digit growth every year! Since 1997, organic food sales have grown from $3.6 billion to $43.3 billion in 2015.
- In 2015, the organic food industry saw its biggest growth yet! Organic sales grew 10.8%, more than any other food sector.
- The number of producers of organic food in the U.S. has grown nearly 300% since 2002, making it one of the fastest growing segments of agriculture.
The big food and chemical companies HATE statistics like these.
They hate this because the writing is on the wall that they will continue to lose sales if they don’t remove GMOs from their products and move towards organic. The tipping point is upon us!
I love each and every one of you that have continued to fight for GMO labeling along with me and other activists. The fight is not over yet, but just know that even if our lawmakers fail us, we can still hit them where it hurts and change is on the horizon. Onward!
P.S. Here is the list of Senators that sold out and voted “YES” in favor of the sham GMO labeling bill, so you know who to vote out of office next: