House Passes Bill to Prohibit States From Labelling GMOs!
Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill That Prohibits Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods!
Should You Decide If You Want to Eat GMOs?
The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that will prohibit states from labelling genetically engineered foods! Can you ask your Senators to oppose any bill that tries to take away labeling for genetically engineered foods?
Why is this important? Well, in poll after poll, more than 90% of people want food to be labelled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. Several states have already passed laws requiring labelling, including Vermont, which will require labels on all foods starting next summer,unless this terrible bill passes through Congress and is signed into law by President Obama.
The lobbyists for Big Food have been busy on Capitol Hill, and it appears that many members of Congress may be confused by the language in the “Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act.” It sounds good doesn’t it? We call it the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).
We get a lot of questions about why we need labelling for GMOs, even from staff of members of Congress! Our answers are below. We hope you’ll contact your Senators today, and give them the information below, so they can vote the right way and protect your right to know what’s in your food.
Question: What is a genetically engineered food or GMO?
Answer: A genetically engineered food is a plant or animal that has been changed by taking genes from one species and inserting them into the DNA of another species or altering the DNA in a way that could never happen through traditional cross-breeding or in nature.
Question: Aren’t genetically engineered foods safe?
Answer: The approval process for new GMO crops in the U.S. is extremely weak and relies solely on the safety tests done by the corporations that are creating these crops. Right now, most crops are approved by federal regulators under the “generally recognized as safe” provision, which means that if a GMO corn variety looks and “acts” like the non-GMO version of corn, it is approved.
Question: But don’t farmers need genetically engineered foods to feed the growing world population?
Answer: Over 99% of the GMO crops that are being planted today are engineered to withstand strong chemical applications, or to produce their own pesticides. Often, the chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow and DuPont that create GMO crops also create the chemicals that have to be used with the crops, so the main benefit of these patented crops is for the companies and their profits. Additionally, most of these GMO crops — like corn, soybeans, canola and cotton — are not grown as food for direct human consumption, but rather for animal feed, or to create ingredients in processed foods.
Question: If over 90% of Americans support the labelling of GMOs, why hasn’t Congress or the Food and Drug Administration done anything?
Answer:What we eat and feed our families has a direct impact on our health and well-being, and we have a right to know if the food we’re eating has been altered in a way that could never happen in nature. Unfortunately, the big food industries spend millions lobbying Congress and federal agencies to keep labels off of GMO foods. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the biggest food and chemical companies, has spent over $50 million to defeat labelling initiatives in multiple states.
Question: Won’t labeling GMO ingredients cost companies a lot of money and raise the price of our food?
Answer: This is one of the biggest industry myths. Consumers Union did a study last year that shows the requirement of labeling genetically engineered food ingredients will cost consumers less than a penny per day or $2.30/person annually.
Question: Why should I take action and ask my Senators to oppose this legislation?
Answer: Genetically engineered crops are in most processed foods but are unlabeled, so many people who wish to avoid foods with GMO ingredients don’t know where they are lurking. GMOs are untested, and it’s unknown how these engineered foods may be impacting our health and the environment. At the very least, shouldn’t we have a choice to avoid them if we want to? The legislation that Congress is considering will prohibit any states from labelling GMOs and will make federal labeling voluntary, which is what we have already, and not a single product is labeled as containing genetically engineered ingredients.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to who gets to decide what you are eating. Shouldn’t that person be you?
Thanks for taking action,
Deputy Organizing Director
Food & Water Watch