Your guests from other states can call the toll-free U.S. Senate switchboard: 866-772-3843.

Background

As the Vermont GMO labeling law takes effect on July 1st, and families across the land prepare to rejoice in American independence, the U.S. Senate cynically attempts to preempt that landmark legislation by quietly enacting a biotech-and-junk-food corporate wishlist into law.

Even though repeated national surveys for years find that 90% of all Americans, across every major demographic, want genetically engineered food to be labeled

Hellman Report Graphic

the bill put forward by Senators Roberts (R-KS) and Stabenow (D-MI), leaders of the Senate Agriculture Committee, calls for a convoluted, costly, discriminatory scheme of indirect electronic codes and phone numbers, rather than requiring disclosure written in words directly on the package label, as is the standard in 64 other countries.

This bill is not a mandatory labeling law— although they are calling it that—because it offers no enforcement mechanism, no penalties or consequences of any kind for defying its provisions.

Although presented as a “compromise,” the bill is opposed by every major consumer group that is working on the GMO labeling issue, including Citizens for GMO Labeling, Consumers Union, Center for Food Safety, GMO Free USA, Food and Water Watch, Organic Consumers Association, and hundreds of others. The bill includes loopholes and delays that mean it will likely never be implemented in a meaningful way.

But it is not only consumer-interest groups who see the bill this way. Despite the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has been no fan of GMO labeling, they issued scorching guidance to the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee that shows how flawed the current bill is, including the following critiques:

The definition of bioengineering in this bill is so ambiguous and narrow that it “will likely mean that many foods from genetically engineered sources will not be subject to this bill.”

The FDA further comments that it “may be difficult” for any GMO food to qualify for labeling under the bill, because it must be proven that a GMO product’s modification could not be achieved through conventional breeding or be found in nature – something nearly impossible to determine. This means most GMO foods would not be subject to mandatory labeling under this bill.

THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT THIS FROM BECOMING LAW IS TO VOICE OUR OPPOSITION BEFORE THE VOTE, which is expected for Wednesday JULY 6.

Instead of being too busy with Independence holiday parades, barbeques, and get-togethers – use these gatherings to spread the word! Pass the phone around! Print out the fliers from Mom Across American or Organic Consumers Assn and hand them out at your town’s 4th of July Parade! Every American eats and has a right to know how their food is produced!

Please, get on the phone and call your senators. Show up at their offices, if you can. Plaster social media with memes and posts (share Facebook posts from GMO Free PA). Call your friends and family and ask them to do the same. Let’s do this.

Happy Independence Day!