GMO Labeling Time?
The GMO labeling debate continues to escalate, as more and more states construct their own initiatives, but at the same time, federal legislation is now on the table in the form of the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” introduced by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas. Here’s a quote from Pompeo’s website, explaining his position:
“The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act would establish a federal labeling standard for foods with genetically modified ingredients, giving sole authority to the Food and Drug Administration to require mandatory labeling on such foods if they are ever found to be unsafe or materially different from foods produced without GM ingredients.”
Those in favor of GMO labeling, however, were none too impressed with the proposed legislation. “It’s clear that Congressman Pompeo and the GMA are willing to do whatever they can to immediately prohibit states from enacting sensible legislation for consumers to have the right to know what they’re buying and feeding their families,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs at the CFS (Center for Food Safety).
Meanwhile, the state labeling initiatives continue. Last November, Colorado voters just absolutely trounced the GMO Labeling Initiative on their ballots, while in Oregon the vote went down to the wire and could have gone either way. Regardless of any differences in vote count, there were two key similarities in both states. First, the results were the same, the GMO Labeling bills failed. And second, millions of dollars more poured into the anti-GMO Labeling side in both states, including over $11 million combined between Monsanto and Dupont, just in Oregon. Obviously there’s a lot at stake for those two companies, or they wouldn’t be throwing millions of dollars in the mix, hoping to influence voters.
Then there are two conflicting assessments of the “extra cost” potentially associated with such labeling, costs that some say will get passed directly to consumers. As usual in the GMO Controversy, the two cost estimates floating around are drastically different. According to a Cornell University study, “Grocery costs for a family could increase by an average of $500 per year.” But Consumers Union (the public policy and advocacy arm of Consumer Reports), who pulled in ECONorthwest to review published research on the cost of labeling foods containing GMOs, came up with this counter —
“…the median cost of labeling in the studies that provided relevant models was $2.30 per person per year.”
— Consumers Union
A Slight Difference
There’s only a slight $497.70 difference between those two estimates!!! Once again, the conflict of information regarding GMOs is staggering. With so much on the line, I think it’s crucial that we get to the bottom of this issue ASAP, so that for any future ballot initiatives, we can at least help educate voters and make sure they’re well-informed on what the truth is here regarding this issue. It may seem a little early to put GMO labeling up as a Question, but I think we need to keep it at the forefront and make it a priority – as best as we can within the logical progression we’re using to resolve the GMO Controversy in general. We definitely won’t muddle up our work on the big picture just because the GMO Labeling issue is a hot topic, but it most certainly belongs on our radar.
So here’s the exact question:
“Should American citizens know if there are genetically modified organisms in their food?”
As always, you can easily follow this sequence online via a tag and a hashtag. The tag is RightToKnow? – hashtag #RightToKnow?
We’ll be on this question in late April/early May, as it’s the 3rd sequence we’ve launched all in short order here. Make sure you’re on our email list so you get notified as we release our Investigation and Truth updates for #RightToKnow and all the other sequences we’re covering. Click here to sign up now and stay informed, and thanks for being a part of The Walk a Mile Project!