VID has endorsed a letter asking President Obama to veto the current GMO Labeling bill.
After years of bitter debate and legislative stalemate over the labeling of genetically modified ingredients, a compromise proposal sailed through Congress in breathtaking speed over the past three weeks.
Within a few years, consumers will be able to find out whether any food in the supermarket contains GMO ingredients. But they won’t necessarily see that information on the package. Instead, consumers may have to scan a “QR code” — those little square codes that you see on airline boarding passes — to get that information.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has also expressed concern that the Roberts-Stabenow bill is ridden with loopholes. In its technical comments, the FDA pointed out that the bill has a narrow and ambiguous definition of “bioengineering” that would exempt many foods from GMO sources.
The VID letter, signed by VID President, Nadine Hoffman states:
While we welcome the establishment of the first mandatory federal labeling requirement to help consumers know whether their food contains genetically modified ingredients, the mandate will not be as effective as it could and should be. In fact, the bill will nullify a stronger measure just recently implemented by Vermont that ensures that labels are comprehensive and written in easy-to-understand English.
A New York Times article of July 14th verifies consumer reactions which could force packagers to be more forthright regardless of the legislation:
The federal law renders Vermont’s law and other state labeling laws null and void, but companies will have to weigh the expense of taking text off labels, not to mention the risk of irritating consumers interested in increasing transparency about the foods they eat. A survey of more than 1,500 consumers by Label Insight, a research firm whose clients include major food companies and grocery businesses, found that 37 percent of consumers said they would be willing to switch brands if another brand shared more detailed product information.
According to The White House website, the most efficient way to express your opinion to The President is electronically. Here’s the address for submitting your comments: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact