Update on GMO infiltrating American soils
Here is yet another denial of our right to know and the right to clean food with the DNA that will and has sustained human life for centuries. -from Food Democracy Now...december 6, 2015
It's hard to believe the levels of deception that Congress and our regulatory officials at the FDA will go to, but in the past several weeks the FDA has approved GMO salmon and denied a citizens' petition by the Center for Food Safety submitted in March of 2012 that called for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.
If this weren't bad enough, right now the Senate, with the support of both Democrats and Republicans, are scrambling to pass the ultimate Monsanto Protection Act by sneaking a rider into a must pass spending bill that would permanently deny states the right to pass GMO labeling laws and create a system that only allows for "voluntary" labeling of GMO foods.
Incredibly, even as we fight for mandatory GMO labeling and basic transparency in our food supply, yesterday morning the USDA has just approved another Monsanto GMO corn variety and given "preliminary" approval of yet another new GMO potato by J.R. Simplot. This is an outrage!
Even worse, rather than put 4 simple words, "Produced with genetic engineering", on food packages sold in the United States, leading American food companies are intentionally trying to deceive us even further by mandating that GMOs be considered "natural" under U.S. law.
At the same time, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Associations (GMA) are promoting an intentionally deceptive solution that would allow these companies to continue to hide GMOs using a meaningless technological solution known as QR codes, which function like bar codes, and would only allow people with smartphones to see if their foods contain GMOs.
Currently, both Congress and our federal regulatory agencies are allowing GMOs to be rubberstamped like new flavors of Chiclets. Today, in America, we have a regulatory system that functions like the Wild West, with the FDA, EPA and USDA approving virtually any new GMO crop (and now animals) based on cherry-picked corporate funded cigarette science that allows corporations like Monsanto to submit their own in-house studies, while denying the health and safety concerns of hundreds of independently funded research scientists.
What you need to understand is that there is a bipartisan selling out of American democracy and food safety to the highest bidder, and in this case, your basic right to know what's in your food and how it's produced are up for sale. The good news is we've built a powerful citizen-led movement that has passed GMO labeling laws in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine and we need your help to defend these historic victories over Monsanto and the GMA's corruption of our democratic institutions.
Our regulatory system is so broken that just last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was forced to revoke its recent approval of the controversial chemical Enlist Duo, which is a super-toxic chemical combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D designed to be sprayed on Dow Chemical's 2nd generation GMO corn and soy, which are widely know as Agent Orange GMOs.
Unbelievably, the EPA only revoked Enlist Duo because it learned that Dow Chemical had not shared basic safety information regarding the ‘synergistic effects’ between the product’s two active ingredients, glyphosate and 2,4-D, which could result in greater toxicity to non-target plant. The EPA only learned of this new information because of a lawsuit against them, when the information came to light nearly a year after the agency's approval of the new Agent Orange GMO crops.
Ironically, the same giant food and chemical companies that are fighting to deny us our basic rights to label GMOs in America, already label them in 64 other countries around the world.
We need all hands on deck to stop the ultimate Monsanto Protection Act and convince your Senators not to violate states' rights and kill GMO labeling and allow GMOs to be labeled "natural"!
Don't let Monsanto continue to corrupt our food and our democracy - it's time to protect America's family farmers, communities & the environment! Every voice counts!
This fight is about transparency, freedom of choice and democracy! Who writes the rules in America? Us or Monsanto? It's time to make a stand, this could be our last best chance to win labeling.
Please share this alert with family and friends you know who may be concerned, we need all the comments we can get and every voice counts!
Remember, democracy is like a muscle, either you use it or you lose it!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Founder / Executive Director
Food Democracy Now!
1. “USDA Announces GE Corn Deregulation”, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, December 4, 2015
2. “USDA Announces Preliminary Extension of Deregulation to GE Potato”, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services, December 4, 2015
3. "The High Tech Hijacking of GMO Food Labeling", Huffington Post, November 18, 2015
4. “EPA does about-face on new weed killer”, Omaha World Herald, November 30, 2015
This just in from the Organic Consumers Association
TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK
Another year. Another federal budget deal. And In typical fashion, Congress can’t get its act together.
The latest word from PoliticoPro is that the House on Friday will vote on a short-term funding measure to keep the government open until. After that? More continuing resolutions are possible.
Will the continuing resolutions and/or the final budget deal include a last-minute rider to end the GMO labeling debate for good, by preempting state or federal mandatory labeling laws?
Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, promised earlier in the year to work with Sen. John Hoeven (R-N.D.) to pass a Senate version of the DARK Act (H.R 1599) in order to prevent a so-called “patchwork of 50 state laws.” When time ran out for shepherding such a bill through the proper democratic process—including introduction of a Senate bill, hearings, a Senate vote—Stabenow hinted at attaching a rider to the year-end budget bill.
The latest word is that if Stabenow can muster up enough support, GMOlabeling law preemption could be attached to the Child Nutrition Act, which would be attached to the budget deal, in order to ram it through Congress. From PoliticoPro:
While Senate Democrats have been vocal in their opposition to the food industry's efforts to add a rider that would preempt state GMO-labeling laws, one source close to the effort said "there is still a pulse" on the possibility of landing a short-term moratorium on state laws in the omnibus. The Grocery Manufacturers Association is pushing an amendment to the omnibus that would stall state labeling laws for two years to buy more time for Congress to pass federal labeling legislation, which would block Vermont's law from going into effect in July, the source said.
Three things to keep in mind while we wait for Congress to stop dithering.
- It’s a huge success to have kept this bill from passing so far, given the deep pockets and relentless pressure from Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
- The battle isn’t over yet. We have to keep up the pressure, keep doing the work that brought us this far.
- No matter what happens next, we have sent the profits of Big Food plunging. Companies like General Mills and Kellogg’s are in trouble. They will eventually either start producing the food consumers want--healthy and organic—or—they will disappear.
Meanwhile, our work is not finished. It will take all of us to win this battle for good.