Obama Just Signed A GMO Labeling Law: Here’s What You’re Not Being Told

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Carey Wedler via TheAntiMedia.org,

Last week, President Barack Obama signed legislation requiring manufacturers of genetically modified (GM) food to provide labeling on their products. But there’s just one problem — err, a couple problems . . . actually a lot of problems. There are a lot of problems with this bill.

The new law originated in the Senate as S. 764, “A bill to reauthorize and amend the National Sea Grant College Program Act, and for other purposes.” Lawmakers commonly insert policies on controversial issues into other, more amenable bills to keep them hidden and ensure their passage.

Sure enough, the new GM labeling bill, focused around a college program, contains language that appears, on its face, to address the concerns of millions of Americans regarding GM foods. While establishment institutions and experts insist they are safe, others worry not enough research has been conducted to guarantee as much.

While the lawmakers who crafted the bill, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), argue it is an appropriate compromise in response to fears surrounding GM products, food advocacy groups found multiple holes in its wording prior to the bill’s passage.

The first — and most contentious — is S. 764’s decree that food companies are not necessarily required to label genetically modified products in text form. While doing so is an option, according to the new law, food manufacturers may also choose to denote GM ingredients with a symbol or a QRC (quick response code) that, when scanned by a smartphone,  will take the consumer to a website detailing further information about the product. The QRC method requires the consumer to have both a smartphone and access to the internet.

While the QRC option sounds high-tech, some lawmakers and activists have criticized its limitations. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) argued on the House floor thatIt is an intentional measure to deny consumers information,” as reported by The Hill. “The reality is that not every American has access to a smartphone or the Internet.”

Another problem with the bill is its lax standards and broad definitions. For example, the bill stipulates that if a majority of a product contains meat, it need not be labeled as containing GM ingredients, even if other ingredients are genetically modified (in contrast, a pepperoni pizza would need to be labeled if the flour in the pizza came from GM grain). While genetically modified animal meat is only beginning to make its way into the food supply, the new labeling bill establishes a concerning exemption for the future. Eggs will also not be subject to GM labels.

Further, the new law “prohibit[s] a food derived from an animal to be considered a bioengineered food solely because the animal consumed feed produced from, containing, or consisting of a bioengineered substance.” In other words, if an animal ate GM feed throughout its life, food companies would not need to inform the consumer.

Even the FDA, known for its collusion with various powerful industries, expressed concerns about the bill’s language. The agency stressed its opposition to labeling, maintaining GM foods are safe, but still pointed out confusion and conflicts within the bill.

The FDA noted the definition of “bioengineering” “will likely mean that many foods from GE sources will not be subject to this bill. For instance, oil made from GE soy would not have any genetic material in it. Likewise, starches and purified proteins would not be covered.

Though the language of the bill is vague, it explicitly nullifies the GM labeling law passed in Vermont last year. That bill, which industry lobbyists aggressively attacked, would be overruled by S. 764, which dictates that “state-imposed labeling requirements would be banned,” as noted by Bloomberg. Vermont’s bill only took effect on July 1 of this year.

Yet another issue with the bill stems from the powerful organizations that supported its passage. As Bloomberg reported, Monsanto, Walmart, and the National Corn Growers Association all pushed for the legislation to pass (currently, over 90% of all corn acreage in the United States is used to grow genetically modified crops).

Still another powerful industry lobbying group pushed for S.764’s passage. As Mother Jones reported earlier this year when the bill was still being negotiated, “Grocery Manufacturers Association [GMA], a deep-pocketed trade group funded by major food processors as well as agrichemical/GMO titans like Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow, praised [the proposed law] as the ‘commonsense solution for consumers, farmers and businesses.” The GMA also sued Vermont over its recent GM labeling bill.

While the Organic Trade Association (OTA) did endorse the bill, its support sparked division within the organic food industry. Shortly after the group announced its support, one of its member organizations, the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Organization (OSGTO), responded by withdrawing its membership.

The OSGTO statement accused the OTA of “duplicity,” adding:

Recent revelations have made clear that the OTA has created numerous close partnerships with Monsanto including intensive lobbying efforts by the notorious biotech-linked lobbyist Podesta Group on behalf of the deal brokered by Senators Stabenow (D-MI) and Roberts (R-KS).

The statement also accused the OTA of partnering with organic companies run by food conglomerates who lobby Congress for favorable legislation.

In fact, the two lawmakers who crafted the bill, Debbie Stabenow and Pat Roberts, are direct beneficiaries of lobbyists. Stabenow’s sixth largest donor in 2016 was Dow Chemical, which, coincidentally, lobbied for S. 764’s passage. (Stabenow’s other donors include Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co.) Stabenow accepted more money from agribusiness political action committees (PACs) in 2016 than from any other industry PACs.

Similarly, Roberts’ top PAC donations came from special interests. One of his top donors is DuPont, another chemical company that lobbied in favor of S. 764. Like Stabenow, he has received money from other powerful donors, including Goldman Sachs, Koch Industries, and Pfizer.

Congress follows a similar path to Stabenow and Roberts, evident in that lawmakers have attempted to push anti-labeling legislation — often dubbed Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) acts — through Congress before. “Big Agriculture” lobbied intensely for the latest version of S. 764 and contributes regularly to political campaigns.

Nevertheless, prior to the bill’s passage, White House spokesperson Katie Hill told Bloomberg, While there is broad consensus that foods from genetically engineered crops are safe, we appreciate the bipartisan effort to address consumers’ interest in knowing more about their food, including whether it includes ingredients from genetically engineered crops.

But considering the numerous flaws in the bill, activist organizations remain steadfast in their opposition. As Dana Perls, senior food and technology campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said:

This bill is a travesty, an undemocratic and discriminatory bill which preempts state laws, while offering no meaningful labeling for GMOs.”

Pursuant to the new law, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has two years to formulate specific standards for labeling, meaning the controversy surrounding the labeling of GM foods is far from over.

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ironicmerman's picture
ironicmerman (not verified) Aug 4, 2016 11:02 AM

"news"

froze25's picture

GMO's are poison. Yeah they are so safe that simply putting on the box, "made with GMO's" is forbidden. Total Bull shit!

Manthong's picture

If Obama signed it, it is a globalist scam.

froze25's picture

This is an active war on the population. This is a quest for Corps to patent food that people can grow independently.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But will they label Soylent Green as GMO?

Because the ingredient(s) certainly will be by then.

Manthong's picture

With TPIP, the aware EU consumers that can afford it will soon be preferring Russian import food over domestic, if available.

How about some nice, non-GMO bread or non-steroid-hormone/non-antibiotic organically fed beef?

This is another reason that the PTB (psychopaths that be) will want to start a war with Russia.

MalteseFalcon's picture

If you are gay, you know Obama and the Democrats love you.

Why you can now get married.

You can also consume GMO poison with out knowing it.

You have no more Bill of Rights.

You can be drafted and send to the ME.

You can be droned, swatted and overly vaccinated.

Just like the cis-gendered.

But, hey, left hand, third finger, right?

I loves me some Obama and Hitlery.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) MalteseFalcon Aug 4, 2016 1:48 PM

We should stop calling them "GMOs" and start calling them what they are: Litigiously Patented RoundUp Ready Modified Organisms.

LPRRMOs aren't as bad as the fact that they will be dowsed in a chemical that will remove your gut flora's ability to produce Tryptophan (serotonin precursor) and Phenylalanine (dopamine precursor).

Row Well Number 41's picture

It's the Roundup readyness that really worries me about GMO.  I don't think the modified gemetics themselves are dangerous, it's what the mods are made to achive.  I think soaking food meant for a table in Roundup is dangerous, because now the food has been soaked in pesticides, and herbacides in such a way that you can never get it out of the end products.

N2OJoe's picture

If that's all you're worried about, then you haven't seen the new generation of GMO's. For instance check out BT corn that produces its own pesticide by having bacterial DNA in it.

There are lots of instances of crops being grown within several acres of GMO crops becoming contaminated with GMO genes due to cross pollination. All it takes is one rapidly spreading fucked up GMO and the entire world's food supply could be irreversibly fucked.

I would be ok with them if they took their fucking time and tested shit but not when they just say "Trust us, it's safe(and oh so profitable)"

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I propose you have to use your smartphone to scan a QR code before you're allowed to vote.

Stainless Steel Rat's picture
Stainless Steel Rat (not verified) Leopold B. Scotch Aug 4, 2016 6:39 PM

I propose that we be given a QR code that allows us to verify our vote, much like a UPS tracking code.

Leopold B. Scotch's picture

I propose you have to use your smartphone to scan a QR code before you're allowed to vote.

sharonsj's picture

Asshole, the bill originated with both a Democrat AND a Republican.  It was passed by a Republican House and a Republican Senate.  So many passed it that they could have outvoted Obama had he vetoed it.  The entire fucking Congress, for the most part, doesn't give a crap about you unless you've got money.

MalteseFalcon's picture

Obama loves you, sharonj.

And you can take a GMO-laden dump in any bathroom you like.

Got it, shithead?

pods's picture

I just assume that if the government is doing it, my best interest is not being looked after.

pods

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Clearly you are in need of additional conditioning.

Eat ten boxes of GMO Fruit-Loops and call me in the morning.

NuckingFuts's picture

I wonder if my dealer will start labeling my blow? GMO cocaine... It's a hell of a drug.

MalteseFalcon's picture

"The reality is that not every American has access to a smartphone..."

Two words:  Obama phone.

Katos's picture

Look folks, the EUGENICISTS, all these billionaires which own us, have decided that our world just can't handle 7 billion people. So they are assisting us by providing us with foods that will not only sterilize us and make us impotent, but will kill us 30 or 40 years ahead of our time. Since we're not considered intelligent enough to understand the idiosyncrasies of their vision for the future, they feel no need to allow us to debate or add our 2 cents to the conversation. So what they have done basically is told us all to "shut the fuck up " eat the fucking poison and like it. Accept the mandatory vaccinations from the mandatory medical care you have to buy,  and above all realize that your just "useless eaters" which contribute nothing to the elites needs and your better off dead!

NoDebt's picture

Without getting into the "GMOs are safe/unsafe" debate the more important reason for GMOs is so that big ag companies can sell basically a "subsription service" for their seeds.  Farmers aren't allowed to gather up seed and replant with it the following year because it's all PATENTED.  You fuck with them, they take your farm.  If you don't want to play that game they'll make sure a few stray seeds "blow across" from a neighboring farm and grow in your soil.  And then they'll take your farm anyway.

 

 

Crash Overide's picture

How fucking hard is it to truthfully list the ingredients in our food?

We shouldn't have to fight for the right to know, this is just another government lobbyist money scam like everything else.

 

Killdo's picture

in other words, slavery has never left this country

Katos's picture

When you have a company that designs a "TERMINATOR SEED" a seed that will not reproduce , you are selling a genocide of man. This makes Monsanto the controller of all food, and It is like if everyone turned gay.  If there is no reproduction, death is the only end game. No company on the planet should have that kind of power over food.

Ignatius's picture

Ding, ding, ding!!!

Winner, winner, non-GMO dinner.

Thanks, NoDebt, that's the point that needs to be made:  they obtain a rentier position on the food supply.

 

Jeffersonian Liberal's picture

They don't really need a patent on the seeds. Although genetically modified seeds grow plants that tend to grow and survive better than heirloom seeds and although they are resistant to molds and diseases that make it difficult and sometimes impossible to harvest the produce from heirloom seeds, the genetically modified seeds typically do not reproduce well.

That is, if you plant a tomato plant using modified seeds, everything else being equal in terms of plant care, you'll have the best chance possible of getting a healthy plant and decent fruit. However, if you harvest the seeds from those tomatoes and plant them the following year, most of them will be sterile. Those that do grow are likely to be weak plants and their seeds are even less likely to germinate.

I plant only heirloom produce. I harvest the seeds of every plant that grows to fruition. From my experience, it is a much bigger headache to work with heirloom seeds than modified, but I do this as part of my prepping to better understand the self-perpetuating food cycle.

Their goal is to be the controller of all seeds so that those who wish to grow anything have to buy seeds every year. This is the ultimate "built in obsolescence" and therefore the ultimate "fuck you, sheep, do as you're told" because it prevents people from being able to feed themselves, thus making everyone fully dependent.

Look for a proposed ban in the not-too-distant-future on all non-FDA approved methods and enterprises of harvesting heirloom seeds.

Mile High Perv's picture

The other half of the issue is people ingesting GM toxins/pesticides/non-natural-dna through their food - http://www.seattleorganicrestaurants.com/vegan-whole-food/gmo-bt-corn-is...

blue51's picture

Obama is an obvious example , of genetic modification gone awry . His barcode is unintelligible .

 

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Actually, in this case I think it's much simpler. Parts of Europe and many other parts of the world have banned GMOs outright. This is simply our friends in the Federal Government openly trampling state's rights, padding its wallet and protecting the American Big Food Lobby at the expense of its citizens. Sort of the opposite of what they are charged to do.

This kind of subversive legislation is national suicide, treason and every Rep who voted for this poison should be recalled and prosecuted.

Manthong's picture

..last cigarette, blindfold and a concrete wall

East Indian's picture

"last cigarette, blindfold and a concrete wall"

 

Cigarette with GMO tobacco?

Killdo's picture

for the explanation of why nothing will be done about it - read the article about Clint Eastwood

Beowulf55's picture

Fucking Senator Pat Roberts, Kansas..............Traitor

Fucking Senator Pat Roberts, Kansas..............Traitor

No, I did not repeat myself.

MFL8240's picture

Vote Trump and get rid of the Paul Ryan gaming of America

onewayticket2's picture

Central planning in action.....

 

and half the states are all for giving up their power to the boys in DC.....

Chumly's picture

Yeah idiot, it IS news!

The low hanging fruit, knuckle-draggers keep getting lower and lower on this sight.

More Ammo's picture

I want you to drink this full glass of Drano,

You don't want to drink it.

Compromise:

I poor half of it down the drain and you drink the other half.

froze25's picture

Eat organic at the least, most of the shit they use on GMO's will kill things that are grown organically.

TradingIsLifeBrah's picture
TradingIsLifeBrah (not verified) froze25 Aug 4, 2016 11:16 AM

"Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me"

 

Thanks, Obama!

 

Sidenote:  Organic has become way overused now to the point it means nothing.  I've seen "organic" frozen microwave meals and "organic" french fries.  If you are truly worried about your health and what goes in your body then your only real choices is to grow your own food or coordinate with a local farmer that you know does it right and buy everything there.  Most of the organic products are made by the same big corporations and they've broken down the government to alter what the word "organic" means.

NuckingFuts's picture

I have grown and sold vegetables, eggs and meats for a decade. All locally grown to local markets. I do not consider myself an expert but I am experienced in the business. The term "Organic" is totally meaningless and means very different things to each person. We (my farm) never use the term although most of what we grow is never sprayed with anything. Organic has been taken over by big agro-business long ago. Unless you know who grew/raised your food, you know nothing.

Rabbi Chaim Cohen's picture

Grow your own, it's the only way to be sure.

Spungo's picture

Aren't all foods GMO? Even humans are selectively bread. 

froze25's picture

Breeding by selection is totally different then splicing in DNA from other species.

Tinky's picture

It's also different from "bread".

froze25's picture

Thank you, you made me grow as an individual. Your thoughts on the subject of GMO labeling?

bamawatson's picture

one who loafs is selectively bread