Even though repeated consumer surveys have indicated that 9 out of 10 food buyers want GMO-derived foods clearly labeled, the U.S. Senate has just passed a “labeling” bill which delays and obscures GMO disclosure at the retail level. It also bans states or localities from requiring such labeling — overturning states’ rights. The details of the bill are available in earlier reports, so we won’t repeat them here.
The bill now moves to the House, where quick passage is highly probable. But it will take two years before any noticeable change is required in food packaging.
Pro-GMO-labeling groups across the USA are seething at the deceptive “labeling” law, which amounts to voluntary compliance because there are no enforcement provisions. One of the most dismayed groups is the Organic Consumers Assocation. Here’s a link to their site.
The views of activists who fought many years for GMO labeling are probably summed up most clearly in the reaction of Zen Honeycutt, founder of Moms Across America. Here’s a slightly condensed summary of the e-mail she sent Friday morning, July 8, to the group’s members.
Message from Zen Honeycutt:
Last night, after Senator Sanders made a passionate, intelligent and frank argument for amending the federal GMO “labeling” bill to adopt the Vermont standards, I was encouraged and hopeful. I turned my attention to dinner and family. Then I saw an email from a national labeling coalition stating that we would have a coalition call tomorrow, after “something happens.” So I did not think anything would “happen” that evening except more speeches either stating the obvious or stating a pack of lies.
At 10:40 I checked in and saw a flurry of messages. At 10:15, a vote had been called to deny amendments and to pass the bill. Senators voted 63-30 to deny states rights, not label most GMOs and to have labeling be voluntary in the USA. Astounding.
While other countries are banning GMOs and restricting the use of toxic chemicals, the majority of our U.S. Senators are throwing the door wide open to widespread contamination of GMOs and giving free reign to chemical companies.
Next, the bill, according to sources, will go to appropriations. Some Senators are declaring that they will fight to make the meager requirements of a QR Code, website or telephone number at least mandatory. We are not enthused. GMO soy oil, high fructose corn syrup and sugar from GMO sugar beets are the primary way GMOs contaminate our food. These foods will NOT be required to be labeled. What “labeling” is “required” will mean nothing.
The “labeling” law they have passed is just like a neighbor offering your son, who has a life threatening peanut allergy, a cookie and saying that he has to scan a code to find out if it has peanuts in it… but even then, there COULD be oil derived from peanuts in it… but they won’t tell you.
Obviously we cannot rely on the current Senators to protect us. We call on every supporter to take note of how their Senator voted and make sure to vote accordingly come re election time. Only the people who protect and respect Americans deserve to serve in our government.
We would like to congratulate the states who had the good sense to vote into office Senators like Sanders, Merkley, Durbin, Merkowski, Leahy, Tester, and Blumenthal.
You can watch the proceedings and final vote here:
After appropriations, the bill will go to President Obama. We can contact Obama and ask him to veto the current UNLabeling bill, as GMO Free USA calls it, and continue to do what we do.
We are committed to empowering millions to educate themselves about GMOs and related toxins, labeled or not, and to offer GMO free and organic solutions.
We will continue this important work, because no matter what it says on a food package, “Produced with genetic engineering,” a QR code with “Scan this for more food information.” or a website, if the consumer does not know what a GMO is, they will still buy it, just like Aspartame and high fructose corn syrup. So we need to continue to educate the consumers, 85% of which are Moms, as to what GMOs are, and how they increase the consumption of toxins and foreign proteins.
Because health, freedom and justice are important.
Because we love our children and our families, and because our success as a country is not defined by the size of our military or the federal cash reserve.
The success of our country can only be defined by the future we leave our children.
That is up to us.
Thank you for your continued support.
Zen Honeycutt and MAA team
Moms Across America