- 15 July 2017
US citizens: you’ve fought for years for labelling of genetically engineered (GE or GMO) food. Now is your chance to finally get it
As you may remember, a “compromise” bill on GMO labelling was passed last year, but a lot of the decisions about what foods would be labelled, and how they would be labelled, were left up to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The law includes labelling options other than on-package labelling, such as QR codes and websites, which would only serve to hide the information this law was passed to provide.
Big Ag and food companies have made it clear which option they support for labelling: QR codes. They know consumers don’t use these codes and that “labelling” via QR codes is really no labelling all. The agency has heard from big corporations – now they need to hear from you!
Tell the USDA that GMO labelling must be clear and on the package!
Quick and easy action for US citizens only:
Only 64% of Americans own a smartphone. That means that more than a third of all Americans will not be able to access GMO information if products are labeled with QR codes. Moreover, those left out are disproportionately low income and those living in rural areas. According to Pew Research Center, only 50% of low income people in the U.S. own a smartphone; only 52% of rural Americans own a smartphone; and only 27% of seniors own a smartphone. Even those who do own smartphones are not guaranteed consistent access to the internet. At the end of the day, a substantial number of Americans would be deprived of their right to know if GMO labelling were implemented through QR codes.
In addition, electronic labelling disclosures put an undue burden on the shopper. It is completely unrealistic for a shopper to scan all of the many items s/he is shopping for on any given shopping trip (which for a family of 4 could easily amount to more than 50 items). This would be an undue burden on the consumer and would not provide the easy access to information that is currently required for all other forms of food labelling. On-package labelling is simple, quick, and effective. QR codes, websites, and 1-800 numbers are not.
The USDA is accepting comments through July 17th. Tell USDA to label GMOs, not hide them behind high-tech codes!
USDA is also deciding which GMOs are labeled. The labelling law should ensure that ALL foods produced through genetic engineering are labeled, not cave in to big ag’s pressure to avoid labelling their products through a deceptive, narrow definition of GMOs.
Tell USDA to label ALL GMOs on the package.
Read Consumers Union comments to the USDA on the labelling rule – you can use these points to inform your comments if you wish: GE_USDA_AMS_comments_7-14-17.pdf