Boxer, DeFazio Introduce GMO Labeling Bill
April 24, 2013
Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio have introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, along with nine co-sponsors in the Senate and twenty-two in the House. As the press release notes,
The bipartisan legislation introduced today would require clear labels for genetically engineered whole foods and processed foods, including fish and seafood. The measure would direct the FDA to write new labeling standards that are consistent with U.S. labeling standards and international standards.
Sixty-four countries around the world already require the labeling of GE foods, including all the member nations of the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.
Contact your Congressman and Senators and urge them to co-sponsor the bill today!
Blinded by (Phony) GMO “Science”
A Mother Jones intern boasted on her twitter account about how she “totally snuck something anti-anti-GMO into Mother Jones.” See how she got it totally totally wrong.
Say No to Food from Animal Clones
The European Commission is taking public comments on animal cloning for food through September 3. Comments from any country are accepted. See why cloned food is cruel to animals and risky to our health.
NPR Errs on California GMO Labeling Initiative
In a piece earlier this week, NPR’s Eliza Barclay wrote on the California ballot initiative calling for labels on GMO food. As stated in the article, the ballot measure would ban “natural” labels on food made from GMOs. But based on the analysis by Peggy Lemaux, a long-time proponent of GMOs, the NPR post went on to say that the initiative would stop producers of any processed food from using the term “natural.” Plain milled rice, Barclay stated (using Lemaux’s logic), could not be labeled “natural” if the initiative passed, since rice is not an animal food, organic, or an alcoholic beverage — the three exemptions Lemaux said were provided for in the measure.
Problem is, Lemaux was just plain wrong (to be charitable; to be frank, she lied). I sent the following email to Eliza Barclay early Monday afternoon. I assume others also let her know about Lemaux’s faulty analysis, because on Tuesday morning NPR softened the piece, omitted the rice example, and noted that “After this report was published, Peggy Lemaux revised her analysis of the California GE labeling initiative, concluding that the section on labeling “natural” could be interpreted different ways.”
See for yourself how the section on “natural” labeling may be interpreted.
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 12:06 PM
…I saw your piece on the CA GMO initiative today and I believe it is in error. As you say, the initiative’s exemptions for the ban on “natural” labels includes non-GE animal products, certified organic foods, and alcoholic beverages. But in her “analysis,” Peggy Lemaux (who is a long-time proponent of GMOs and ally of industry) ignores this exemption (from the initiative text, at http://ucbiotech.org/resources/labeling/documents/GMO_initiatve_CA.pdf ):
“A raw agricultural commodity or food derived therefrom that has been grown, raised or produced without the knowing and intentional use of genetically engineered seed or food.”
So, your rice example is a good one. Any rice product, organic or not, processed or not, can still be labeled as natural, since it could not be grown with GMO seed – there is no GMO rice seed on the market. This is also true for just about any other natural food, processed or not – the only problematic foods would be ones including corn, soy, sugar from beets, canola, or some Hawaiian papayas, since those are the only GMO foods on the market.
Also, the idea that GMO labels will not provide additional safety is a specious argument. New artificial colors and flavors have to go through a battery of required tests before they can be used in foods, and even then, labels must declare when they are used – not for safety reasons (that’s what the testing is for), but because consumers want to know when their foods contain them. By contrast, there are no government safety requirements for GMOs, and they don’t have to be labeled, even though consumers overwhelmingly want labeling.