Statement by Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director, Food & Water Watch
Washington, D.C. – “Today, the Senate voted to do away with our right to know what’s in our food, revoking a popular and clear state labeling law in effect in Vermont and nullifying all future state labeling initiatives.
“This is a slap in the face for all of the activists that have worked hard to pass state-level measures because they believe strongly that labels should be transparent, and that they should decide whether or not they are purchasing and consuming foods with genetically engineered ingredients. The majority of Americans support labeling for GMOs and will hold their elected officials accountable for stripping away this transparency.
“If this bill becomes law, the industry wins what are essentially voluntary requirements under this GMO labeling ‘compromise,’ which does not mandate recalls, penalties or fines for noncompliance with the incredibly weak requirements of the bill that will likely leave many GMO ingredients exempt from any labeling requirements. And the bill gives companies the option to use discriminatory QR codes that require a smartphone to access basic information about the food on store shelves.
“Now, we call on the House not to pass the bill. We also call on President Obama to veto the bill if it comes to his desk. On the campaign trail many years ago, he promised reform on many food issues—from giving family farmers a fair shot in the marketplace to food labeling, saying we had the right to know whether our food is genetically engineered or not. Before he leaves office, he has one more chance to get it right when it comes to food policy that protects people over corporations. He must veto this bill.”
Food & Water Watch champions healthy food and clean water for all. We stand up to corporations that put profits before people, and advocate for a democracy that improves people’s lives and protects our environment.
Contact: Darcey Rakestraw, 202-683-2467; drakestraw(at)fwwatch.org