Tricky, tricky GMO labeling: The latest on H.R. 1599

gmolabelingThe U.S. House of Representatives has approved a tricky, tricky GMO labeling bill (H.R. 1599).

Despite the fact that this is the first labeling mandate a reluctant Congress has approved since GMO foods were introduced in the early ’90s, there is no cause for celebration.

If you are one of the 90 percent of Americans who think GMO ingredients should be clearly specified on ingredient labels, along with the other ingredients, you’re in for a surprise.

The government gives food companies “a loophole big enough to drive a truckful of GMO corn through,” says Natural Health 365, while seemingly acceding to the will of the people.

The new law gives companies the ‘option’ of displaying GMO contents by way of a QR code (scannable bar code).

So… if you have a smartphone, and are paid up on an expensive data plan… and if the signal in the store is good… and the phone is properly charged… and if you are willing to whip out a mobile device to scan every item of food…

Presto! You have what passes as democratic ‘transparency’ these days.

This tricky, tricky GMO labeling bill is one of the more blatant deceptions presented as ‘transparency’ by our government.

Since it is estimated by the Environmental Working Group that 40 percent or more of consumers don’t even own phones capable of scanning QR labels, there are a couple of other options:

You can make a precise list and spend a considerable amount of time on the computer (if you have a computer) before you go shopping.

Or… you can go to the library and use a computer (if you know how to use a computer).

Many elderly, poor or uneducated members of the public will be denied information on GMO ingredients, as will those who choose a ‘minimalist’ (elimination or limiting electronic dependency) lifestyle.

Food safety and natural health advocates condemn the deviously designed bill as deceptive and insulting.

“It’s a slap in the face,” says Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch.

The tricky, tricky GMO labeling bill, courtesy of our federal government, is called by some, “The Monsanto Bill.” More commonly, it’s referred to as “The Dark Act,” an acronym for denying Americans the right to know.

There are many questions yet to be answered, as the bill will not go into effect for two years. The details are still being worked out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Will some food companies be ashamed of the deceptive bill and choose to use plain language instead of resorting to the QR ‘option?’

Will grocery produce sections display signs for GMO corn? Or squash? Or papayas, beets and whatever else is GMO these days?

What will restaurants do?

They are exempt from the GMO labeling requirement, as are small businesses.

“The ‘smart’ labels are only a smart choice for the food industry—not the consumers they are supposed to protect,” says Natural Health 365.

So far, organic is the best choice for consumers. That is what President Obama and his family mostly choose, as do the upper financial echelons of the food companies who make junk for the rest of us.

But they have access to clean food and can afford it—options many people do not have.