Monday, July 10, 2017

TODAY! TELL USDA THAT GMOS MUST BE CLEARLY LABELED!

DEADLINE is MONDAY, JULY 17, 2017

This is your chance as a consumer to let the Department of Agriculture know how you would like genetically engineered foods (GMOs) to be labeled.


This is the important Action to take NOW!
E-Mail your views to: GMOlabeling@ams.usda.gov BEFORE MONDAY,  JULY 17, 2017.


The main messages to convey are:

1. Labeling must be CLEAR and ON THE PACKAGE.
QR codes, 800 numbers, and references to websites are NOT acceptable as the sole means of informing consumers.     

2. All genetically engineered foods must be clearly labeled as such, including processed foods (such as oils, sweeteners, etc.) and present in any amounts.   

3. Foods must be labeled SOON.  Industry has had plenty of notice and consumers have already had to wait far too long. 

It's good to put your name and address -- or at least your city and state -- on these e-mails.  It underscores that these decisions affect real people, real families!


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Here is some background information:

On June 28 the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural  Marketing Service  (AMS) posted a request for input in developing a proposed bioengineered food disclosure rule. 

You may read this request at:

More Information about this:    

Although responses are sought to thirty questions (see: 
https://www.ams.usda.gov/rules-regulations/gmo-questions ) there is no requirement that you follow this format.  


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IF YOU WISH: you may respond via the Center for Food Safety.
(We are grateful to the Center for Food Safety for making this easy for you with a model letter, and for their additional explanations. )

To access Center for Food Safety for this purpose, Please click here: 

or here (which goes to the same place!):

Either way you make your views known is fine, but please do it now or as soon as possible before Monday, July 17, 2017.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Alliance for Natural Health: a Wealth of Information

Alliance for Natural Health (ANH-USA) takes on the "Myth of Industry" that we need genetic engineering to "help feed the poor."   Their Pulse of Natural Health newsletter this week (to see it, click here) has some useful information about how natural plant breeding can fortify nutritional content.   Also, see their new "GMO Facts Microsite (click here).   Once you are there you will find links to a wealth of additional GMO-related information.   Thanks ANH-USA for this great resource!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Historic Tribunal in The Hague

The weekend of October 14-16, coincides with World Food Day and marks the opening of the International Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, as well as the accompanying People's Assembly.  The former will examine the role of Monsanto in crimes against against humanity and the environment, while the latter will seek ways in which citizens of the world can transition to a regenerative, socially economic and just and democratic food and farming system.

For the basic information about this program: click here.
And for the PRN Newswire discussion of these events: click here.

Videos are now available for many of these proceedings.
Terri Reardon of Illinois Right to Know GMO has kindly provided these links to some of the People's Assembly Proceeding.

1. Vananda Shiva Opens the People's Assembly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AqGr1HA_DY&feature=youtu.be&app=desktop

2.  More videos from the People's Assembly:
http://peoplesassembly.net/video/

The Tribunal itself was live streamed.  We hope that some videos will be available for later viewing and if so we will post links on these pages.

In the meantime, we urge interested readers to check Google and You Tube for other videos that may be posted.



Thursday, September 15, 2016

Negative Labels and Living under the DARK Act.

Negative labeling - that is, labeling stating that a product does NOT contain genetically engineered food (or GMOs as commonly known) -- has been the subject of much confusion of late.  In August of this year the USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) issued an updated directive in this regard.  To open this document which was updated August 19, 2016, click here.
Example of Negative Label 

This is a complex situation because while FSIS did not previously allow  "negative claims" (that is, claims that a product did not contain GMOs),  there was no effective enforcement mechanism for this and a number of products were simply labeled as GMO free with no consequences.


Private certifying entities such as the Non-GMO Project could function legally because words "Non-GMO" appeared on labels bearing their organizational name and made no other claims on food packages.

But now, at least according to the terms in the above document, FSIS  will allow "negative labeling" for certain categories of foods, all foods that are animal derived.  (meat, poultry and egg products not containing or derived from livestock fed GMO feed.)

An excellent analysis of this new FSIS directive has been prepared  by food reporter Maxwell Goldberg at his "Living Maxwell" website.   To download this analysis please click here.  This is a an important and confusing topic and this analysis is worth careful reading.
Note however that at this point it does not apply to plant-derived foods.

If you are interested in a broader general description (although dated) analysis of the work of the USDA Food Safety & Inspection Services (FSIS) in general, click here.

Continue to look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label and/or the USDA Organic label on your foods!

Now that the DARK Act will likely make it more difficult than ever to avoid NON-GMO foods, the Non-GMO Project offers help in the current issue of their newsletter:  "Living non-GMO -- THE BUTTERFLY: The Lifestyle Newsletter of the Non-GMO Project.  To see this issue please click here.   Or visit the Non-GMO Project website at nongmoproject.org.

Friday, September 9, 2016

What Really Happened with the DARK Act?

The enactment of the DARK Act  (so called by its opponents because it would Deny Americans the Right to Know) was the product not only of plenty of money from industry, but also of major betrayal by groups that had appeared to be supportive of meaningful labeling of genetically engineered foods.

In fact, the DARK Act could be compared with a life-preserver bearing the words "Life Preserver" clearly written on the cover, but filled with lead that would drag the unlucky person depending on it  right to the bottom of the sea!

One of the clearest articles exposing the complex machinations employed by industry and false friends to foist the DARK Act upon us was published this week in The Cultivator, the quarterly newsletter of the Cornucopia Institute.

If you would like to read the Cornucopia Institute's excellent summary of the "story behind the story"of the DARK Act, click here. 

We urge readers to thank the Cornucopia Institute -- a small organization that punches way above it's weight and deserves your support!   www.cornucopia.org.  Their "donate" button is front and center on their home page!


Saturday, July 30, 2016

The President Signed the DARK Act into Law

July 30, 2016.   Yesterday was a difficult day for all of us who have worked so hard for mandatory, clear, on-package labeling of genetically engineered foods. 

 

The President signed S. 764 -- a sham labeling bill that will truly Deny Americans the Right to Know.   Among other things this cruel charade of a law will: 

 -- Prohibit state labeling legislation (including Vermont's that had was in the process of being enforced),

-- Allow companies to "label" genetically engineered foods by indirect means such as QR codes, telephone numbers, URLs or other devices that will force consumers to spend precious time and energy to learn what is in their foods,

-- Impose no penalties for non-compliance, giving industry a "Get Out of Jail Free" card for ignoring this law.

In addition, the DARK Act could exclude from labeling many foods that should be labeled - perhaps exempting most processed foods.

This is clearly a bad situation, but we need to keep on working!  

We know you may be disappointed and even exhausted.  You have been handing out leaflets, speaking to friends and associates, helping at public events, responding to action alerts from IRGKGMO and many other organizations, and doing all the things that need to be done to bring about change.  

We need to keep right on working, but now in a different arena!

We have already brought about change!  Have you noticed that more people know what GMO means?  Have you noticed that more and more people are looking for the Non-GMO Project label when they shop?  Have you noticed that several companies (even some of the biggest ones) now label?

We're not quitting!

In the coming weeks we will be working on more strategies to build public awareness. 
When we can convey the hazards to health, environment and food security in compelling ways, and as more and more people become aware of the outrageous behavior of industry in promoting this hazardous technology, we can achieve our goals.  

Do not give up!  

Now more than ever your ideas and your energy are important!   Get involved with Illinois Right to Know GMO and some other the other great organizations working to bring about change.  Support them with your funds and your action as you are able.  Both are important. 

The DARK Act is headed for the President's Desk


July 17, 2017, the DARK Act has been passed by Congress and is headed for the President's desk.