Credo Action

Tell the USDA: Stop Monsanto's dangerous GMO labeling rule

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The petition to the USDA reads:

"Consumers deserve clear, consumer-friendly GMO labels on all foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, not confusing food industry propaganda designed to mislead them."

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    Tell the USDA: Stop Monsanto's dangerous GMO labeling rule

    If you're like most people, you probably don't associate sunshine and a smiling face with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in your food. But those images are exactly what Monsanto, Big Food and the Trump administration want you to see when you head to the grocery store, where much of our food contains genetically engineered ingredients.

    Under a proposed new labeling rule, the U.S. Department of Agriculture is heading down a dangerous "Orwellian" path by labeling foods containing GMOs with sunshines and smiley faces, replacing "GMO" with "bioengineered," and excluding an entire class of GMO foods.1

    The USDA is currently accepting public input on their proposed GMO propaganda scheme. This could be our last chance to push for clear, accurate GMO labels, so we must speak out now before the July 3 rulemaking deadline closes.

    Tell the USDA: We deserve clear, consumer-friendly GMO labels.

    In 2016, Congress passed relatively weak GMO labeling legislation supported by the food industry requiring the USDA to create uniform standards to label food containing genetically-modified ingredients as a way to preempt states, like Vermont, from enacting their own, stronger GMO labeling laws.

    The resulting proposal from the Trump administration is a massive giveaway to chemical and seed companies like Monsanto and Dow, whose businesses rely heavily on genetic engineering, and the major food brands who manufacture GMO crops like soy and corn into junk and processed foods.

    That's because consumers will not only have a difficult time discerning which foods contain GMO ingredients, they will also be misled by the proposed labels. The draft rule carves out numerous exceptions to labeling requirements, including food modified through certain gene-editing processes, any foods whose primary ingredient is meat and small food manufacturers.2

    Tell the USDA: We deserve clear, consumer-friendly GMO labels.

    In addition to the carve outs, the proposed rule will allow food producers to opt for a QR code label, scannable by smartphone, which would send consumers to a manufacturer's website for more information. This scheme is not just intentionally deceptive, but highly discriminatory because nearly 100 million Americans, many of whom are people of color, elderly people or people living in poverty, do not own smartphones or live in areas with adequate internet service.3 In fact, the USDA's own study into QR code use found that 85 percent of Americans struggle with the technology.4

    We have a right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our families. With the USDA's July 3 public input deadline quickly approaching, we must pressure the Trump administration to drop these draft rules and clearly and accurately label all foods containing GMOs.

    Tell the USDA: We deserve clear, consumer-friendly GMO labels.

    Thanks for all you do.

    References:

    1. Katie O'Reilly, "USDA Proposes GMO Labeling Rules," Sierra, May 8, 2018.
    2. Sam Bloch, "GMOs are dead, according to the U.S. government. Long live 'bioengineered,'" The New Food Economy, May 3, 2018.
    3. Center for Food Safety, "Rev. Jesse Jackson Calls on President Obama to Reject Discriminatory Labeling Bill," July 14, 2016.
    4. United States Department of Agriculture, "Study of Electronic or Digital Disclosure," Sept. 6, 2017.