On Friday, over major public opposition, the Senate passed a bill that would nullify Vermont’s GMO labeling law—and any future attempts in other states for mandatory, on-package GMO labeling legislation. For the voters in Vermont, the activists across the country who fought for our right to know what’s in our food, and the vast majority of Americans who support GMO labeling, this news comes as a disappointment. This is a serious setback for our movement – but we’re not giving up yet. Ask President Obama to veto this sham labeling bill if it reaches his desk.
If this bill becomes law, it would give food companies the option to use QR codes or 800-numbers for information that should be clearly marked on the package. That’s not real transparency. It would also use a very limited definition of what a GMO is, meaning many of the GMO ingredients already being used in our food will remain unlabeled.
Many in the Senate tried to celebrate this bill as a compromise, but it’s actually a sell out to the Big Food industry, allowing companies to continue with business as usual: not letting us know what genetically engineered ingredients are in our food.
The House passed a different version of this bill last summer. Now, the House is facing pressure from Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association to pass similar legislation to what the Senate passed as quickly as possible so President Obama can sign it into law.
President Obama is our best hope to stop this bill. When he was campaigning for president in 2007, he said he stood with Americans who believed they had a right to know what they’re eating. Now, if this bill makes it to his desk, we need to make sure he remembers the promise he made before he became President, and see that he protects people over corporate interests.