USDA’s Proposed GMO Labels: Don’t Let it BE!
The long-awaited draft rules for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods are here.
Unfortunately, they fall far short of the clear, direct labeling consumers want and will continue to keep the public in the dark unless you take action today!
You can comment on what form the labels should take (a QR code, a phone number, text on the label, or a symbol) and what that label should look like.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is proposing a misleading rebranding of genetically engineered food by calling them BE or bioengineered and the use of symbols such as bright sunshiny smiley faces, in an attempt to convince people that genetically engineered foods are something they should want to buy.
They are also proposing to exempt “highly refined” GE products such as sugars and oils. This would mean that about 70 percent of GE products would not be labeled!
No matter what you think of genetic engineering’s use in agriculture, the USDA is supposed to be value neutral. In fact, the marketing for USDA organic cannot be overly positive for fear that may give consumers the impression it is better than conventional. The USDA should not promote genetically engineered foods.
Go to regulations.gov today and type in "National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard". Confirm the docket # AMS-TM-17-0050 and click on the blue Comment Now box.
Tell the USDA to use words or symbols that are clear and simple that cover all GE products:
- The symbols proposed by the USDA are not value neutral and are disparaging to non-GE products.
- The term “bioengineered” is confusing and a departure from the term genetically engineered or genetically modified organism (GMO) understood by the public.
- The USDA should recommend the text used to state “Produced with genetic engineering” or “Partially produced with genetic engineering” or use a neutral symbol such as the one here.
- The USDA should label all “highly refined” GE products like cooking oil, high fructose corn syrup, and the like.
- Say NO to confusing QR codes and text messages that would make shopping trips longer, be costlier, and discriminate against those with less resources.
We only have until July 3 to get comments in. Don’t wait, please comment today!