President Obama Signs GMO ‘Non-labeling’ Bill, Leaves Millions of Americans in the Dark

From the Institute of Responsible Technology

Dear Friends,

As you may know by now, Congress passed legislation (S.764) that wipes out Vermont’s excellent GMO labeling law and substitutes a fake national GMO labeling regime. President Obama signed the bill into law Friday, July 29th. This sham labeling bill:

1. Excludes most processed foods from requiring a label;

2. Defines genetic engineering so narrowly, that most GMOs on the market don’t qualify; and

3. Gives the USDA two years to come up with additional criteria for labeling, which will likely contain even more loopholes.

For products that will require labeling, companies can avoid actually stating on the package that it contains GMOs. Rather, they can force consumers to go on a wild goose chase by calling a listed 800 number to find the answer, or using their smart phones—if they have one—to scan a QR code and then navigate a website.

And to make this law even more irrelevant, if companies decide to ignore the labeling requirements altogether, there is no enforcement or penalty.

Although this is clearly a defeat in our campaigns for getting mandatory labeling in the United States, we are still winning the bigger, more important effort to ELIMINATE GMOs from the market altogether.

Mandatory Labels are not Required for Victory

Labeling GMOs was never the end goal for us. It was a tactic. Labels make it easier for shoppers to make healthier non-GMO choices. When enough people avoid GMOs, food companies rush to eliminate them. Labeling can speed up that tipping point—but only if consumers are motivated to use labels to avoid GMOs.

Therefore, if mandatory labels had been put into place, we would still be required to educate and motivate consumers.

The good news is that the tipping point is already underway based on the voluntary non-GMO labels being put on packages. Major food companies already realize that making non-GMO claims gives them a competitive edge. Why else would Nestles dedicate time during their extremely expensive TV commercials to brag that their coffee creamer is non-GMO? Why else would Dannon announce that their feed for dairy cows will be non-GMO within three years? And why else would Del Monte, Campbell’s, Hershey’s, Post, General Mills, Red Gold, Applegate, and so many others make similar non-GMO commitments? They are scrambling to get the non-GMO sales advantage before their competitors. The flood gates are opening. We are totally winning. Let that sink in.

Behavior-Change Messaging is the Key Success Factor

This major shift in the marketplace has come about due to compelling, behavior-change messaging. And that’s IRT’s specialty. It involves:

1. Accurately conveying the health dangers of GMOs in compelling ways, and

2. Exposing the lies, cover-ups, and outrageous behavior of the pro-GMO forces.

IRT participated in labeling campaigns around the country using these potent behavior-change messages.

We think it was an unfortunate decision by several of the state and national labeling groups to focus almost exclusively on the “Right to Know” message, which, by itself, doesn’t motivate healthier non-GMO choices. In fact, the vast majority of the money raised for labeling was used to support the Right to Know platform.

If there is a silver lining to the recent defeat of mandatory labeling, it is that our movement can now put our collective attention back on the key success factor—tell people the truth about GMOs and how they can protect themselves and their families from the dangers.

We’d like to thank and celebrate the thousands of GMO labeling campaigners and supporters who have worked so hard for these years. Our collective efforts alerted tens of millions of people that GMOs were indeed in the food supply and we created a national conversation about the topic.

Our ultimate goal, to eliminate GMOs, is happening more and more with each non-GMO announcement. Now let’s focus our attention on getting the word out in the most effective manner, and achieve final victory. Safe eating, Jeffrey

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Shining Light on the DARK Act

The mandatory labeling movement has achieved unimaginable success in raising awareness about the GMO issue. In the past few years, national media attention and the corresponding public understanding inspired by state labeling efforts have brought a once obscure term—GMO—into the spotlight. When we started the Non-GMO Project 10 years ago, it always took me a few minutes to explain what I did, because only rarely had my audience ever heard of genetic engineering. Fast forward to a 2014 Consumer Reports survey in which 72% of Americans say it’s important to them to avoid GMOs when they shop. Knowledge is power, and this public awakening is shifting the scales in a way that can’t be undone, even by this horrendous bill. Our elected officials have utterly failed to represent the will of the people this time around, but they can’t stop the deep sincerity with which Americans are now pursuing information and choices when it comes to GMOs.

This brings us to our next ray of light, and it’s a big one. We all vote with our wallets every time we shop, and collectively we DO have the power to change the way our food is grown and made. This is the premise that the Non-GMO Project was founded on a decade ago, and it is indeed proving to be powerful. As the availability of non-GMO food choices skyrockets, GMO crops are on the decline for the first time since their introduction.

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This is a lie."…/…/2002/02/13/gall-bladder.aspx
Arty turns 10 this summer.