In the summer of 2016, President Obama signed an absolutely horrible GMO-labeling bill into existence.
Two years later and with the proposed standards of this bill recently released to the public, we now see just how deceptive and confusing this piece of regulation is.
Here are a few of the major points of the GMO-labeling law, which is formally known as the National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.
1) The standard defines “bioengineered” food as food “(A) that contains genetic material that has been modified through in vitro recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) techniques; and (B) for which the modification could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”
First and foremost, a GMO-disclosure rule should make it clear and easy for consumers to know whether a food is genetically-modified or not.
The truth is that most people have no idea what “bioengineered” means, and using this seldom-used, scientific term is confusing to shoppers.
Replacing “GMO” or “genetically-modified” — terms that have been used by consumers for decades — with “bioengineered” is both disingenuous and deceptive.
Second, the definition of “bioengineered” does not give us any clarity about whether the next generation of GMO technologies, such as gene-editing, synthetic biology and RNAi, will be covered under this rule. This is critically important.
2) Companies will have three options to disclose the presence of “bioengineered” foods – text, symbol or QR codes. QR codes are inherently discriminatory since nearly 100 million Americans do not have a smartphone.
The proposed bioengineered symbols with a smiley face, grass, a blue sky and sunshine — all of which are supposed to be neutral — give off the impression that “bioengineered” foods are healthy!
3) It is still uncertain if heavily processed, genetically-modified sugars, syrups and oils will require a label. Read more »