Genetic Engineering Requires a Federal Solution

Genetic engineering of our food supply is a national (cosmic, if you will) problem.  It requires a federal solution.  The Food, Drug, & Cosmetic Act (FD&C) prohibits the misbranding of food articles, which includes if a label is “misleading.” However, no food manufacturer has voluntarily labeled products with gmo ingredients since they hit the market in 1992.

The “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act [HR # 1599] is a foolhardy measure which would actually prevent consumers from knowing that their food has been genetically engineered.

Mandatory GMO food labeling in the U.S. will incentivize food companies to manufacture products with non-gmo ingredients.    

Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Peter DeFazio introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food. House Bill #913/Senate Bill #511 is a common-sense measure which pre-empts the need for a state-by-state labeling system. Please see the bill summary, below.

U.S. consumer concerns about genetically engineered foods are steadily increasing.  From 2012-2014, the number of new new non-gmo product introductions in the U.S. increased by 262%.  Mandatory GMO food labeling provides mothers and others with the information they need to make informed choices about the food they buy and feed their families. GMO labeling is already required in 64 other countries. Furthermore, U.S. food manufacturers (Kelloggs, Kraft, General Mills, Jelly Belly, etc.) already formulate their products with non-gmo ingredients for these markets. 

You can’t complain that corporations show up on Capitol Hill and have an impact, and then not communicate with your representatives. The freedom you take for granted in this country comes with the responsibility to communicate with your elected representatives.  This requires speaking with both your U.S. Senators, your representative in the U.S. House, and members of the Senate Committees on Agriculture and Health, Education, Labor and Penisons (H.E.L.P.), which oversees the F.D.A. Make a few calls today and your voice will be heard where it needs to be heard NOW:  in Congress!

Every member of the Senate and House of Representatives (with phone numbers) is listed in the directory here:

Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee are listed here:

Members of the Senate H.E.L.P. Committee are listed here:

Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act

This bill amends the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to prohibit the sale of food that has been genetically engineered or contains genetically engineered ingredients, unless that information is clearly disclosed.

This prohibition does not apply to: (1) food served in restaurants, (2) medical food, (3) packaged food that is less than 0.9% genetically engineered material, and (4) food that qualifies as genetically engineered solely because it is produced using a genetically engineered vaccine or because it includes the use of a genetically engineered processing aid (including yeast) or enzyme.

Labeling or advertising foods containing genetically engineered material as “natural,” or using similar words, is prohibited.

A food recipient is not subject to penalties for misbranding of genetically engineered food or ingredients if the recipient has a guaranty that is signed by the person from whom they received the food (including seeds) and the guaranty states that the food is not genetically engineered or does not contain a genetically engineered ingredient.

Food is deemed to have been produced without the knowing or intentional use of genetic engineering if: (1) the food is certified as organic; or (2) an independent organization determines the food has not been knowingly or intentionally genetically engineered or commingled with genetically engineered food, with that determination being based on testing that is consistent with international standards and not reliant on processed foods with no detectable DNA.

An agricultural producer is not subject to penalties for misbranding of genetically engineered food or ingredients if a violation occurs because food unintentionally becomes contaminated with genetically engineered material and the contamination is not due to the producer’s negligence.

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