New bill requires labeling of GMO foods.

This past week, President Barack Obama signed into law a bill that requires the labeling of genetically modified ingredients.

Congress passed this legislation two weeks ago. It will require most food packages to carry a text label, a symbol or an electronic code readable by smartphone that indicates whether the food contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

The debate between whether or not GMOs are safe for human consumption is one of the most controversial topics in the health community as of late.

Both sides present compelling evidence. And it’s certainly not as easy as saying "GMOs are bad" or "GMOs are good."

There are hundreds of thousands of different uses for GMOs. Each one needs to be researched fully to understand the potential benefits and risk they possess.

However, it’s every individual’s right to know whether or not the foods they’re eating have been genetically modified or include genetically modified ingredients.

We’ve been talking about GMOs recently in this space …

 The Great Organic Food Debate (July 17, 2015)

 Get Ready for Homemade GMOs (Oct. 15, 2015)

 Top Medical Journal Warns of GMOs, Herbicides & Public Health (Aug. 22, 2015)

 Skepticism over GMO Labeling (Aug. 26, 2015)

 New Study Proves Organic Meat is Better for You (March 26, 2016)

If you are someone who is against the use of GMOs, it’s only fair to know this type of information.

But for those who have been waiting for these expanded food labels, unfortunately you’re going to have to keep waiting for a little while longer. That’s because the Agriculture Department has two years to write these rules.

The timing of this bill is interesting. Just a few months ago, one of the top medical journals in the world, The New England Journal of Medicine, came out with a complex assessment on the use of GMOs …

"We believe the time has come to revisit the United States’ reluctance to label GM foods. Labeling will deliver multiple benefits. It is essential for tracking emergence of novel food allergies and assessing effects of chemical herbicides applied to GM crops. It would respect the wishes of a growing number of consumers who insist they have a right to know what foods they are buying and how they were produced.

"And the argument that there is nothing new about genetic rearrangement misses the point that GM crops are now the agricultural products most heavily treated with herbicides and that two of these herbicides may pose risks of cancer."

At the time this article was published, the NEJM had hopes that the FDA would reconsider labeling of GM foods and couple it with adequately funded, long-term post-marketing surveillance.

Today, we’ve seen that wish come to fruition.

As I said before, the topic of GMOs is highly complex. We will need to see much more research on the long-term health effects, good or bad.

However, the transparency that this bill aims to provide to the average consumer is a right we all deserve.

As a consumer yourself, how do you feel about this new law? Please let us know by leaving a comment.

Happy and healthy investing,

Brad Hoppmann

Your thoughts on “New bill requires labeling of GMO foods.”

  1. As a nurse, there a NO WORDS, to describe, my SEETHING ANGER! How many years did, it take for, PEANUT WARNINGS, on products? A PANDORA’S BOX, was OPENED, when the HEAD OF FDA((ex Monsanto employee), & LOBBYISTS, turned their backs, on Americas health & well being, FOR PROFITS!

  2. Monsanto, the company that bankrupted itself by selling hazardous waste for use as a dust-control agent on the streets of Times Beach, Missouri, lost every one of its’ assets in liquidation sales by the US Bankruptcy Trustee, which sale raised funds to reimburse the Government for some of the costs of digging up every street in Times Beach and burying the contaminated soil in a landfill.

    The very last thing sold, in the bankruptcy sale, was the right to use the Monsanto trademark.

    Celgene, a California tech company, bought the name “Monsanto” and launched an elaborate disinformation campaign, disguising it’s Silicon Valley roots behind the trade dress of a bankrupt St Louis manufacturer.

    Having started out in the disinformation business, it’s not surprising that their business plan involved multiple layers of disinformation.

    Celgene/Monsanto wants two mutually-contradictory legal standards to apply to it’s product labelling:
    —Farmers must track the GMO crops they grow, and must agree never to mix the seeds that a GMO plant produces, with new seeds bought from Monsanto, nor ever to allow their GMO crop to re-seed itself.
    —But consumers must never be told if the food they buy, is GMO.

    That is a very troubling contradiction. If it’s absolutely necessary for Monsanto to know, that farmers aren’t planting the seeds that grow from their fields of GMO crops (but instead buy new seeds from Monsanto), then it is reasonable to share this information with consumers who eat the products.

    The fact that Monsanto lobbyists have worked long hours at inducing Congress and the Executive Branch to write contradictory sets of laws and regulations, that force farmers to prove they bought all their seeds from Monsanto and allowed none of their GMO crops to re-seed themselves…but force makers of food for consumers, to accept Monsanto-derived crops and treat them as if they were not Monsanto-derived, is disturbing.

    The immediate result of this lobbying achievement, is widespread distrust and speculation.

    Alongside the speculation, come vast volumes of false information. Most Americans are ignorant of farming and cannot make sense of common technical terms that every farmer uses to describe farming processes. The false information about farming, that circulates online, is quoted and used to create additional false information. This threatens to impact every pest-control method used in agriculture, globally. Moreover it has an adverse impact on consumers. Consumers now spend extra money buying foods they think are safe from Monsanto-related hazards.

    The only reason Celgene/Monsanto gets away with these practices and is not sued, is that their lobbyists induced the Government to deceive consumers. The Government is immune to lawsuit. Generally, the bureaucrats and Congessmen who created the complex web of laws behind which Monsanto hides, are also immune to lawsuit.

    Thus, we’ve built a system in which nobody is responsible to tell any of the truths about GMO crops, and we’re drowning in misinformation about them.

    There need to be limits on the use of the Sovereign Immunity defense in our courts. Nobody, whether Whig or Federalist, who drafted the US Constitution of 1787, ever intended for the government they created, to have the power to compel farmers to conceal facts from food consumers. Yet that is precisely what Celgene/Monsanto lobbyists have achieved, by inducing Congress, the USDA, and the FDA, to construct statutes and regulations that make their deception legal. Monsanto hired lobbyists and paid them to create new laws, making a particular form of consumer fraud legal, then used the newly-legalized form of fraud, as the cornerstone of their business model.

    What’s horrible is not that we will go another two years for the new USDA labeling rules governing GMOs to take effect. What’s truly horrible, is that consumers have zero assurance, that Celgene/Monsanto lobbyists will not sabotage the new USDA labeling rules by making the labels too diffjcult to understand.

    Every person who works in the federal regulatory bureaucracy and is promoted to a supervisory position there, has the chance to take early retirement and then take a second job at a lobbyist at a lobbying firm or “political consulting” firm, using inside knowledge to influence the workers they used to supervise. Those workers know they have legal immunity from lawsuit by consumers. So they respond to the pressure, giving the lobbyists what they want, and ignoring their duty to protect consumers.

    End result: By lobbying, Celgene/Monsanto legalized an anti-consumer business strategy for which it otherwise would have been sued. Their lobbyists won, because regulators and Congressmen, already immune from most lawsuits, sold taxpayers out, in hopes of becoming lobbyists themselves…and they cannot be sued for selling us out.

    Legal immunity is overused.

    Had Celgene/Monsanto’s allies in the Congress, been sued for their role in the sellout, this sellout would not have happened.

  3. All this to do about GMOs is a red herring to get people worked up. Most foods are genetically modified. Carrots aren’t naturally orange. Nothing’s stopping sellers from branding their food non-GMO. You don’t go to a store looking to buy Pepsi and then look for products that AREN’T marked “Not Pepsi”, you just look for the products that are branded “Pepsi”. If you want food that has had the least amount of human interaction, just go to the organic food aisle.

  4. According to other sources your description of what this law does is not accurate. From the
    Center for food safety… “Today President Obama signed into law a GMO labeling bill that discriminates against more than 100 million Americans. The bill recently passed through Congress and allows companies and producers to use QR codes, 1-800 numbers and other difficult to access technology to label food products that contain GMOs, instead of clear, on-package text.

    The law also sets a dangerous precedent to override the sovereignty of states, as many state labeling laws, including Vermont’s recently enacted GMO labeling law, are now void. Consumer, food safety, farm, environmental, and religious groups along with several food corporations representing hundreds of thousands of Americans condemned the bill when it was before Congress. The FDA said the bill’s narrow and ambiguous definition of “bioengineering,” would “likely mean that many foods from GE sources will not be subject to this bill” and that it “may be difficult” for any GMO food to qualify for labeling under the bill. Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson said the bill raised “serious questions of discrimination” and left “unresolved matters of equal protection of the law”.

    The following is statement from Andy Kimbrell, executive director at the Center for Food Safety:

    I don’t know what kind of legacy the president hopes to leave, but denying one-third of Americans the right to know what is in the food they feed their families isn’t one to be proud of. This law is a sham and a shame, a rushed backroom deal that discriminates against low-income, rural, minority and elderly populations. The law also represents a major assault on the democratic decision making of several states and erases their laws with a vague multi-year bureaucratic process specifically designed to provide less transparency to consumers.

    The original source of this article is Center for Food Safety

  5. Look, ALL food is genetically modifed! Humans have been breeding and cross breeding plants and animals for thousands of years! It seems to me that the real issue is Herbicides and pesticides. This is what needs to be addressed.

  6. The bill is inadequate, providing lip service only. Since it allows food processors the option of using an electronic code readable by smartphone that what most will do. This means if you don’t own and always carry a smartphoine, tough cookies. There are still a significant number of us who opt for freedom from smartphones as well as from GMOs.

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