The fight for mandatory GMO labeling just took a dangerous turn that could leave millions of Americans in the dark about genetically modified ingredients in their food.
Monsanto and Big Food, along with long-time food industry ally U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, are pushing Congress to adopt a compromise to the GMO labeling battle: Voluntary high-tech QR code labels that require consumers to scan with their smartphones to know whether or not food products contain GMO ingredients.
These so-called “smart labels” will make it more difficult – or impossible – for many people to find if GMO ingredients are in their foods. That’s because most Americans won’t take the time to scan a label, don’t know what a QR code is, or don’t have the required technology to access the labels in the first place.
We must pressure Congress and Secretary Vilsack to reject this food industry gimmick and demand simple, mandatory, on-package GMO labels on our food.
It’s clear that Monsanto and the food industry are fighting to protect their bottom line by making it harder for consumers to know what’s in their food with this QR code scheme. What’s more, there’s currently no proposal for those without smartphones, typically low-income, disabled, or elderly consumers, to access this information.1
As Scott Faber, the executive director of the pro-GMO labeling group Just Label It, put it, “Consumers shouldn’t have to have a high-tech smartphone and a 10-gigabyte data plan to know what’s in their food.”2
Public pressure on Big Food to label GMO food is working. Recently, major processed food giants Campbells, General Mills, Mars, Kellogg’s, and Con Agra announced they would label GMO foods nationwide.3
With poll after poll showing nearly every American is in favor of mandatory GMO labeling,4 the Obama Administration and Congress should make it easier for us to know what’s contained in our foods, not harder.
Tell Congress and Secretary Vilsack: No “smart code” labels for GMO food. Click the link below to sign the petition:
Thanks for all you do.
Josh Nelson, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
Add your name:
- Letter from Senators to the GMA Questioning GMO QR Codes, Organic Consumers Association, January 21, 2016
- Mary Claire Jalonick, Food industry looks to Congress as GMO labeling law nears,” Associated Press, February 4, 2016
- Katherine Paul, “Campbell’s Decision to Label GMOs Destroys Monsanto’s Main Argument Against Labeling,” Alternet, January 15, 2016
- Consumer Support, Just Label It
Bt corn, a genetically modified organism (GMO), has been both the poster-child and thorn-in-the-side of the plant biotechnology industry from the late 1990’s to present. There are several versions of this transgenic crop that each have a gene from an insect pathogen, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which encodes a protein toxic to the European corn borer (ECB), an insect pest that eats and destroys corn stems (see Figure 1). Bt corn has proven effective in reducing crop damage due to ECB, yet public opposition to Bt corn has escalated amid fears of human health and environmental risks associated with the production and consumption of Bt corn.