Mar 26 2017

GMO labeling laws…do they exist?

Published by at 1:07 pm under GMO's

GMO labeling laws…do they exist?
Last year, Congress passed a bill requiring labeling, but is it enough?

 

Last July, Congress passed and President Obama signed a bill, which establishes a federal standard for labeling foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Within a few years, consumers will have access to tools that allow them to know whether foods in the supermarket contain GMO ingredients. But proponents on both sides of this debate are not really 100% satisfied.(1,2)*

GMOs are estimated to be in between 75% and 80% of our food. Though the FDA insists GMOs are safe for consumption, consumer groups argue that we have the right to know what is in our food.. Companies in the US claim that adding GMO labeling to packaging is too expensive, yet 64 countries already require such labeling.1*

“…The bill allows companies several choices for labeling. They can add text to a label stating that it contains genetically engineered ingredients; put a symbol (yet to be determined) on packaging to denote such ingredients; or use a “digital link” like a quick response, or Q.R. code that consumers can scan with their smart phones…3*

“…Many proponents of G.M.O. labeling contend that anything short of text will allow food companies to obscure the genetically engineered ingredients in their packaging. They object in particular to Q.R. codes which they consider discriminatory because many consumers do not have access to the tools needed to read them….”3*

The details of this new bill have yet to be worked out. That responsibility falls on the Department of Agriculture, which will have two years to write up the rules.1*

There are criticisms regarding the bill because by allowing companies to use QR codes, or 1-800 numbers as their form of GMO labeling, it discriminates against those who don’t have access to smart phones, or don’t know how to use them in order to access this off label information. Some are calling this bill “…the DARK Act, short for “Denying Americans the Right to Know,.”…”. Others oppose the bill because it isn’t as stringent as the Vermont legislation which will now be superseded by this federal law.1*

Many food companies along with farm groups oppose the bill, as they fear that being required to provide GMO labels will drive consumers away from their products, which is something that happened in Europe.. At the same time, “…the Organic Trade Association, which supports GMO labeling, decided to support the compromise, in part because the law includes some special benefits for the organic industry. It includes, for instance, a provision that allows organic food companies to label their products as non-GMO. (1,2)*

The battle over GMO labeling is not nearly over. As the U.S. Department of Agriculture tackles the details, they will have to decide whether such refined products as soy oil or sugar from beets should require labeling. They are made from GMO crops, but the final product doesn’t contain genetically modified material to include DNA or proteins…”2*

There are some companies taking the lead when it comes to these labeling laws. One is Whole Foods Markets, which will require GMO labeling in two years, and will hopefully set the standard for other grocery store chains. Another is Dannon yogurt. They announced that they will disclose whether their products contain genetically modified ingredients, which was to go into effect by the end of last year.2*

There are many ways you can avoid GMOs, which we have discussed in the past. But continuing to demand that companies provide transparent labeling regarding whether their products contain GMOs is one of them. BODY BIOTICS™ Bio-Identical SBO Probiotics Consortia™ does not contain GMOs. Additionally, the consortia of friendly bacteria help to clean up the gut from years of consuming toxins, pesticides, sugar, GMOs and other chemicals that can damage the delicate balance of the microbiome. *

I hope you found this information helpful! We will keep an eye on upcoming legislation that may affect the results of these new labeling laws.

Healthiest wishes,

Kelli

 www.bodybiotics.com

 

Resources:

  1. http://fortune.com/2016/07/31/gmo-labeling-bill/
  2. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2016/07/14/486060866/congress-just-passed-a-gmo-labeling-bill-nobodys-super-happy-about-it
  3. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/07/15/business/gmo-labeling-bill-gains-house-approval.html?_r=0

 

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