It has been almost 20 years since GMO technology was introduced into our agriculture systems. Over time this toxic arms race has created a scenario whereby 80-90% of corn and soy planted in the U.S. is grown with GMO technology. As a result it is now difficult for farmers to easily source non-GMO seeds. In mid-March Rep. Pompeo, Mike [R-KS-4] reintroduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act which would take away our right to label GMOs for a very long time. Some have dubbed it the Deny Americans Right to Know (DARK) act, and this nefarious legislation is quickly gaining steam in Congress.
What this new bill could do
The DARK Act will block all state GMO labeling laws. It would pre-empt GMO labeling laws already passed in Vermont, Maine and Connecticut and pending legislation in more than 20 other states. It calls for voluntary labeling which won’t work. Food companies have been allowed to make non-GMO claims since 2001, but consumers are more confused than ever, and when was the last time you saw a GMO label?
The new version of the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 includes a provision that would officially regulate and certify foods that were produced with non-GMO ingredients. At first glance you may think this is a viable alternative but in fact it could create a very lax and loose certification process, much less stringent than the Non-GMO Project’s verification process.
The science to support the right to know
Recent reports are making it evident that the technology inherent in GMO production is toxic to the environment and thus to people. In a report from Environmental Science Europe over 300 scientists confirmed that there is NO consensus on the safety of GMOs; these claims are not supported by an objective analysis. The report “clearly demonstrates that the claimed consensus on GMO safety does not exist outside of the internal circle of stakeholders: seed developers, their scientists and their journalists.”
The companies that create and patent this technology are also notorious for selling toxic chemicals that the GMO plants are designed to withstand. Over 80% of GMO crops are genetically modified so that Glyphosate and other herbicides can be sprayed, at will, exterminating everything but the plant itself. Not only has this lead to a 90% demise of the monarchs but quite likely the slaughter of our bee populations as well.
When a recent report from the World Health Organization listed Glyphosate as a probable carcinogen to humans, Monsanto expressed outrage. As their company stock fell on the news they asked for a public retraction linking their products to cancer. Indeed these GMO seed companies have a lot at stake. Glyphosate based herbicides are primarily responsible for almost half of all Monsanto’s revenues, or $5.1 billion in 2014.
What you can do right now
The Just Label it website makes it pretty simple! If you care about GMOs being labeled you can take immediate action and tell Congress you support federally mandated GMO labeling! Fill in the JLI form to send an email to your members of Congress! Then share it on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Call your mom, tell your friends and send your siblings an email and urge them to do the same.
A label can be as innocent as “orange juice made from concentrate.” That label never turned anyone away from a glass of orange juice. Nor did it raise the price.
Isn’t it time we joined the rest of the 64 countries in the world in having a right to know? Don’t let it slip away! Contact your Congressional leaders today.