Tag Archive: Grocery Manufacturers Association


Consumer alert: GMO labeling to be outlawed by ‘Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act’ introduced today in Congress

 

GMO

Thursday, April 10, 2014
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com (See all articles…)

 

(NaturalNews) A proposed new federal law just introduced by Rep. G.K. Butterfield (a Democrat) and Rep. Mike Pompeo (a Republican) would outlaw state-enacted GMO labeling laws. The new law, ridiculously called the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, is actually an last-ditch, desperate effort by the biotech industry and the GMA to forever bury the truth about GMOs so that consumers don’t know they’re eating poison.

According to mainstream media reports (1), the bill would require the FDA to mandate GMO labeling only if those foods “are found to be unsafe or materially different from foods produced without biotech ingredients.”

Because the FDA and USDA have already decided, against all scientific evidence, that GMOs are “safe” and “not materially different” from other foods, this requirement is nothing but sheer sleight of hand and a pandering to idiocy. In truth, this new bill, if passed into law, would allow food companies to permanently and insidiously hide GMOs in all their products forever, nullifying the numerous state-based GMO labeling laws which are on the verge of passing.

The Environmental Working Group calls this proposed new law the “DARK Act” (Denying Americans the Right to Know), saying:

After two states have passed GE labeling bills and more than 30 others are poised to consider similar labeling bills and ballot initiatives, the food and biotech industry have goat-roped some members of Congress into introducing legislation to block state GE labeling laws.

Push for GMOs run by criminally-minded organizations

GMOs have already been restricted or banned in over 60 countries (2), and Americans are very close to achieving victory in state-based GMO labeling campaigns. The very idea that American consumers might find out they’ve been eating GMO poisons in most of their favorite foods is so horrifying to the biotech industry (and the processed food front groups) that its enforcers are now seeking this “nuclear option” to legally deceive consumers about GMOs with the complicity of the FDA.

 

Read More Here

 

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U.S. bill seeks to block mandatory GMO food labeling by states

April 9 Wed Apr 9, 2014 12:46pm EDT

(Reuters) – A Republican congressman from Kansas introduced legislation on Wednesday that would nullify efforts in multiple states to require labeling of genetically modified foods

The bill, dubbed the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” was drafted by U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo from Kansas, and is aimed at overriding bills in roughly two dozen states that would require foods made with genetically engineered crops to be labeled as such.

The bill specifically prohibits any mandatory labeling of foods developed using bioengineering.

“We’ve got a number of states that are attempting to put together a patchwork quilt of food labeling requirements with respect to genetic modification of foods,” said Pompeo. “That makes it enormously difficult to operate a food system. Some of the campaigns in some of these states aren’t really to inform consumers but rather aimed at scaring them. What this bill attempts to do is set a standard.”

Consumer groups have been arguing for labeling because of questions they have both about the safety for human health and the environmental impacts of genetically modified foods, also called GMOs.

Ballot measures in California in 2012 and last year in Washington state narrowly lost after GMO crop developers, including Monsanto Co., and members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) poured millions into campaigns to defeat the measures.

The companies say the crops are safe and cite many scientific studies back those claims. Pompeo on Wednesday reiterated those claims, stating GMOS are safe and “equally healthy” and no labeling is needed.

“It has to date made food safer and more abundant,” said Pompeo. “It has been an enormous boon to all of humanity.”

But there are also many scientific studies showing links to human and animal health problems, and many indicating environmental damage related to GMO crops.

 

Read More Here

 

 

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Congress considers blocking GMO food labeling

Published time: April 09, 2014 20:10
Edited time: April 10, 2014 11:01
AFP Photo / Robyn Beck

AFP Photo / Robyn Beck

A new bill introduced in Congress looks to ban states from implementing their own labeling laws when it comes to food containing genetically engineered ingredients.

According to Reuters, US Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) introduced the legislation on Wednesday, which is intended to head off bills in about 24 states that would require companies to inform customers when their food is produced using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Titled the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act,” the proposal would forbid states from enacting such proposals.

“We’ve got a number of states that are attempting to put together a patchwork quilt of food labeling requirements with respect to genetic modification of foods,” Pompeo told Reuters. “That makes it enormously difficult to operate a food system. Some of the campaigns in some of these states aren’t really to inform consumers but rather aimed at scaring them. What this bill attempts to do is set a standard.”

Supporters of GMO labeling argue that modified ingredients pose a threat to human health, and that as a result they should be clearly labeled in the marketplace so that consumers can make informed decisions. In addition to health concerns, they also point to the negative environmental consequences that could arise from widespread GMO use, since millions of acres of farmland and weeds are developing resistances to the pesticides used.

Opponents, however, point to their own studies, showing that GMO crops are safe and therefore do not need to be labeled differently than other products.

 

Read More Here

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Fighting GMO Labeling in California is Food Lobby’s “Highest Priority”

Food Safety News
Opinion

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In case you had any doubt that California’s Prop 37 — which would require labeling of food containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) — is a significant threat to industry, a top food lobby has now made it perfectly clear.
In a recent speech to the American Soybean Association (most soy grown in the U.S. is genetically modified), Grocery Manufacturers Association President Pamela Bailey said that defeating the initiative “is the single-highest priority for GMA this year.”
You may not know the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but its members represent the nation’s largest food makers — those with the most at stake in the battle over GMO labeling; for example, soft drink and snack giant PepsiCo, cereal makers Kellogg and General Mills, and of course, biotech behemoth Monsanto.
According to state filing reports, so far GMA has spent $375,000 on its efforts to oppose the labeling measure, with its members adding additional out-of-state lobbying power in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Never mind polling demonstrating that a whopping 90 percent of voters think they deserve the right to know what they are eating. GMA also won’t bother to mention the more than 40 other nations (including the European Union, Brazil, and China) that already require food makers to disclose GMOs.
Big Food Lobbying to Undermine Health
This is hardly the first time the nation’s most powerful trade association of food manufacturers has marshaled its resources to oppose common sense food and nutrition policy–at both the national and state levels.
As I documented in my book, Appetite for Profit, for years GMA flexed its lobbying muscle in state legislatures all over the country fighting bills that were simply trying to remove junk food and soda from school vending machines.
Big Food lobbyists have also banded together to vociferously fight any attempt to restrict out of control junk food marketing to children on TV and other media.
For example, in 2005, GMA was a founding member of the Alliance for American Advertising, whose stated purpose was to defend the food industry’s alleged First Amendment right to advertise to children and to promote voluntary self-regulation as an alternative to government action.
More recently, the Grocery Manufacturers Association was among leading trade groups and corporations opposing the federal government’s attempt to improve industry’s own voluntary guidelines for food marketing to children. As this Reuters special report from April explains, GMA’s chief lobbyist visited the White House last July along with several top food industry representatives (including from Nestle, Kellogg, and General Mills) to scuttle an effort by four federal agencies that would have protected children from predatory junk food marketing.
But Food Makers Love Labels Don’t They?
It seems rather ironic that the same food makers taking advantage of every inch of food packaging space to convince shoppers to purchase its products would object so strongly to labeling for something they claim is not harmful.
Indeed in recent years, the federal government , in recognizing that food companies’ so-called “front of package” labeling is so out of control that it commissioned not one but two Institute of Medicine reports to make recommendations to fix the problem and un-confuse consumers.
Unwilling to tolerate government intervention designed to help Americans, the Grocery Manufacturers Association has been aggressively promoting its own new nutrition labeling scheme it calls “Facts Up Front.” But as Food Politics author Marion Nestle has explained, this is an obvious end-run around the feds. Here is how the food industry describes its own voluntary program:
“Facts Up Front is a nutrient-based labeling system that summarizes important information from the Nutrition Facts Panel in a simple and easy-to-use format on the front of food and beverage packages.”
Translation: We are repeating information already required on the back of the package, now placing it in a format we like better on the front.
See how that works? The food industry is always in charge. That’s why the nation’s largest packaged food lobby and its members are shaking in its boots over 90 percent of Californians wanting to see GMO labeling on food.
And no wonder, because as GMA President Bailey correctly warned her audience: “If California wins, you need to be worried the campaign will come to your state.”
Very worried.
This article was originally posted on Appetite for Profit on July 31, 2012.

California GMO Labeling Law Named Prop. 37

Food Safety News

gmotomatoes-406.jpgCalifornia’s Office of the Secretary of State announced on Monday that the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, also known as the GMO labeling initiative, will appear on voter ballots as Proposition 37 for the November 6 elections.

If passed, Prop. 37 would make California the first state in the U.S. to require labeling of most foods made with genetically modified organisms — those given specific changes to their DNA through genetic engineering techniques.

Polls conducted by various organizations in recent years have found that roughly 90 percent of Californians support labeling for genetically engineered (GE) foods. But regardless of the polls, leaders of California’s GE labeling movement are still preparing for a fight on the road to election day.

“We certainly have huge support, but we’re not taking anything for granted. There’s a big effort to fight it and we’re worried about the money that will be put toward that effort,” California Right to Know campaign spokeswoman Stacy Malkan told Food Safety News.

GE labeling is already law in nearly 50 countries, including China, Japan and each European state. Alaska requires labeling of GE fish and shellfish, making it the only U.S. state with any type of GE labeling law.

Earlier this year, three-quarters of U.S. Senators rejected a federal GE labeling bill. Nearly 20 states have had similar bills turned down in congress in the past year.
Most major food corporations oppose GE labeling, citing the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s requirement that GE ingredients be labeled if they’re determined to exhibit a difference in nutritional value or level of safety.

Malkan said the Right to Know campaign does not hope to ban or eliminate GE foods from the market, but operates on the belief that consumers should simply be able to know whether their food was genetically engineered.

“People want to know what’s in their food and the information shouldn’t be kept from consumers,” she said. “We get to know all the nutritional facts, allergy information, where it comes from, but we can’t know if it’s genetically engineered?”

The Right to Know campaign collected nearly 1 million signatures for the initiative, virtually doubling California’s 550,000-signature requirement. Malkin attributed the level of response to an army of volunteer petitioners.

Others who oppose GE labeling say that consumers want to avoid GE foods out of fear of the unknown, despite the proven benefits such as increased crop yields and better resistance to pests. The Grocery Manufacturers Association calls GE labels unnecessary and potentially confusing to consumers who might perceive the label as an indication of a risk.

The next four months, Malkan said, will pit consumers against corporations in a public relations slugfest. And if the measure passes, it could affect food labeling well beyond California: Supporters predict food makers will want to avoid making separate labels for California and simply choose to change their labels for the entire U.S.

…………..Excerpt From Natural News.com

Rand Paul among Senate members who voted against GMO labeling amendment

Friday, June 22, 2012 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

Federal government prohibition of GMO labeling does not, cannot legally exist

But has Sen. Paul really betrayed the American people by voting against S. Amdt. 2310, or are there inherent constitutional problems with the amendment that predicated his “Nay” vote? Upon further investigation, it appears as though the latter scenario is more accurate, as S. Amdt. 2310 falsely assumes that the federal government has the authority to grant states permission to label GMOs.

As others have already begun to point out in the days following the amendment’s rejection, the legislation was essentially toothless from the start. The federal government does not, after all, have the constitutional authority to prohibit states from requiring GMO labeling, let alone permit it. The federal government has also never even tried, at this point, to legally stop individual states from mandating GMO labeling. This means S. Amdt. 2310 was a faulty attempt to address an issue that is not even an issue, and one that attempted to do so using an unconstitutional approach.

A key thing to remember in all this is that neither the federal government nor the U.S. Congress has any constitutional authority to grant states permission to label or not to label GMOs. Under the U.S. Constitution, individual states already possess their own inherent authority to determine how they wish to handle the GMO labeling issue, and the federal government does not legally possess any authority whatsoever in the matter.

Americans need to remember that our individual rights and the rights of our states, as outlined in the Constitution, are not at all contingent upon whether or not the federal government approves or disapproves of them. These rights are wholly independent of the federal government, regardless of how this increasingly tyrannical overlord system tries to interfere with them, or pretend as though it is some kind of omniscient gatekeeper that decides whether or not to grant these rights.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other federal agencies may still attempt to restrict states from labeling GMOs through loopholes and other crafty regulatory means. But in no scenario does a state require a federal amendment that “permits” states to label GMOs — states are free to label, under the Constitution, at any time. And passing an amendment that “permits” something that is already legal and constitutional would only grant the federal government perceived power over a matter that it does not actually possess.

If the federal government is given the power to “permit” GMO labeling now, for instance, then it can “un-permit” GMO labeling later, despite the fact that it never possessed the power to permit in the first place. This is an important concept to be aware of when dealing with legislation and amendments, and one that Sen. Paul appears to have been fully aware of when voting against S. Amdt. 2310

You can view the roll-call voting results for S. Amdt. 2310 by visiting:
http://www.senate.gov

Also, be sure to support the GMO labeling ballot measure in California, which will be up for a public vote on November 6, 2012:
http://www.labelgmos.org/

Nutrition & Public Health

No Need for Labeling, Just Test GMOs First, Says AMA

 

Food Safety News

About 1 in 4 of the nearly one million physicians in the U.S. still belong to the American Medical Association, but at its 161st House of Delegates meeting in Chicago, the AMA found a way to remain relevant.
It weighed into the policy debate over genetically modified foods, and made both sides mad.  AMA called for mandatory pre-market safety testing for all GMO foods. However, it also supported continued use of genetically engineered ingredients in food and beverage products with no need for labeling GMO products.
Consumer Union’s Michael Hansen commended AMA for coming out for mandatory pre-market safety assessments, but remained disappointed about the group’s stance on labeling. Meanwhile, the Grocery Manufacturers Association immediately put out a statement commending AMA for its continued use of genetically engineered ingredients.

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“Today’s action is in line with the position of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and numerous regulatory and scientific bodies that agree that foods and beverages that contain GE ingredients are safe and materially no different than those foods that do not contain GE ingredients,” said the GMA statement.
It’s not clear how the AMA-envisioned mandatory safety assessment would differ from the actual process genetic crops have to follow now — namely the full-blown adherence to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).
Up until now, federal judges have had more say on the process biotech companies must follow for GMO crops than any lawmakers or FDA and USDA. Federal Judge Jeffrey S. White in San Francisco ordered sugar beets literally torn out of the ground in early 2011 so as to not interfere with the GMO process he’d laid down. The 9th District Court of Appeals overturned that part of Judge White’s rulings.
Before environmental attorneys began winning the process decisions in federal court, biotech companies could get by with going through safety consultations with federal agencies.
For the remainder of the year, labeling of GMO foods is likely to get more attention than the approval process. That’s because California voters in November will be deciding upon a ballot initiative to require mandatory labeling.
Labeling proponents think a victory in California would force the issue on a nationwide basis because food companies would not want to carry the costs of dual labeling.