Let’s get into the Food Nation Radio “time machine” and go back to 2014. The Vermont legislature passed the first mandatory GMO labeling law. The food industry obviously did NOT want to disclose that information and fought back hard with lots of negative advertising. Similar proposals promptly failed at the ballot box in both Washington State and California. Polls showed that despite those defeats, upwards of 90% of Americans wanted accurate labeling on their food products and over 50% said they would not purchase genetically modified foods. It would be an understatement to say that behind the scenes, agribusiness was freaking out and turned to the US Congress for help. The 2016 congressional and presidential election was just a few months away, and congress was forced to do something quickly. So they passed, and President Obama quietly signed the “National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard” mandating the accurate labeling of foods. (and killing Vermont’s law in the process!) Since then, the USDA has had over two YEARS to implement the law and of course, create the GMO logo that would be placed on GMO foods.
So here we are. It’s mid 2019, deadlines have been missed and lawsuits have been filed. Instead of celebrating that consumers finally know whether their foods have been genetically modified, it looks like the USDA is acting to protect agribusiness instead. Instead of true, accurate labeling it seems the USDA is bending over backwards to protect the interest of agribusiness. The delays continue as agribusiness fights the process, meanwhile the graphic artists created this ridiculous label. The familiar (and dreaded) GMO name has been changed to “bio-engineered” which sounds so much friendlier and less dangerous to your health.
Food Nation Radio spoke with George Kimbrell, Legal Director for The Center For Food Safety for an update. In the meantime, Food Nation Radio is NOT impressed with the USDA’s antics and we will be watching!