GMO Labeling: A Pivotal Moment

December 2, 2015 Update:
Mandatory GMO labeling opponents plan to insert special language into a budget bill that, in order to keep the U.S. government funded, must pass by December 11. Known as a “rider” because it is unrelated to budgetary issues, this language would be similar to The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling (aka DARK) Act, in that it would block mandatory GMO labeling by overriding state labeling laws and setting up a weaker, voluntary-only national system of GMO labeling. Those opposed to mandatory GMO labels are using the rider strategy because the Senate has been reluctant to consider SAFLA/DARK, largely due to vocal public outcry against the bill. By inserting the main points of the unpopular bill into budget-related legislation that must pass, SAFLA/DARK supporters have an opportunity to prevent GMO foods from ever being required to be labeled.

If you’d like to see genetically modified foods labeled, now is a critical time to contact your elected officials to ask them to reject any rider that denies Americans’ right to know what’s in their food and to instead support mandatory, federally enforced, on-package* labels for GMO foods. You can easily reach your two senators and one representative (be sure to contact all three!) by calling the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 244-3121.

*Some lawmakers are proposing that instead of a straightforward, on-package disclosure, such as “genetically engineered,” QR codes could be used to direct consumers to websites that would disclose whether or not a food has been produced using genetic engineering. Check out this article from Center for Food Safety to learn more about the proposed QR code use, and why many believe QR codes would be an inadequate solution.

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