Part 1: Gary Hirshberg reflects on GMO Labeling, Political Activism and Why He’s So Involved

Since the late 1970’s Gary Hirshberg has worked tirelessly to build a better food system. He’s followed his heart to encompass a love for the planet and its people. From building a business with seven cows, his heart has driven his mission. Tirelessly defending people from toxic chemicals, protecting the environment all the while selling some darn good yogurt, propels him still tirelessly to this day.

With his accomplishments and accolades in hand many like him would have sauntered off into the sunset of retirement. But Gary keeps pressing and driving hard for a better tomorrow. With such passionate energy I had to sit down and ask him: “Why do you do it?”    Continue reading

USDA Study: 9 Problems Electronic GMO Disclosures Would Face

In July 2016 Congress passed the first national GMO labeling legislation in the U.S. It is set to go into effect in July 2018, but not before the Department of Agriculture writes extensive rules for the legislation, which left many questions unanswered.

One of the most controversial parts of the bill would allow companies to use digital disclosures such as QR codes. Due to the heated debate over digital disclosures, Congress stipulated that the USDA must complete a study to identify any technological challenges consumers might face if companies used a digital disclosure for GMO ingredients instead of on-package labels. Continue reading

The GMO Labeling Discussion is Not Yet Over

It was June 2016 when the law passed requiring foods with GMO ingredients to be labeled. This disclosure was the first of its kind in the U.S., a milestone for food transparency and simultaneously a source of monumental discontent for many. The law requires that manufacturers disclose GMO presence but allows for digital means, such as QR codes or links, as a way to comply with labeling.

The law also mandated a study to identify potential challenges associated with the electronic options. The study found multiple problems related to QR codes or links.

As you read this, USDA is writing the regulations implementing the law, and the first draft will be coming out soon. There’s still time for USDA to hear from you on the study’s findings and craft a comprehensive, user-friendly standard. Continue reading

30 Questions for You on the GMO Labeling Standard

 I remember with no measure of fondness the industry skirmishes that transpired after the GMO disclosure standard was enacted last July. It was a deal that no one on either side wanted. The USDA recently posted 30 questions on their website that will be used to draft their proposed rule. No matter how much you dislike this rule, it’s time to lay down your sword and provide real input to make it as robust as possible. Continue reading