7 Steps to Take Action: GMO Labeling Initiatives

The NonGMO Project is one of the most- trusted GMO labeling systems currently in affect in the US. The companies that are Non-GMO certified have to pay out of pocket to be tested and labeled as such. Let’s support these companies by buying foods that are NonGMO.  Also support organizations that seek to make our products transparent in what they contain. (The Non-GMO Project is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization).

The US currently does not require mandatory labeling laws nationwide (some states do currently however have labeling laws). The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act  that  passed this year in the House (2015) is set to be reviewed next by the Senate.

If passed, it would preempt the individual states’ legislation for mandatory GMO labeling. The Safe and Accurate Food Safety Act would conveniently destroy GMO labeling efforts in individual states that already passed laws for labeling. It would become difficult  for the FDA to control labeling. This takes away our right to know what is in our food. This does not sound very safe or accurate.

We must act NOW.


Did you know October is Non-GMO month? Take some action this month!

  1. Sign an online petition today!   Links below to NonGMO Project, Just Label It, GMO Free USA, and The Environmental Working Group.

2. Write an Industry Action letter to your State Representative. You will often get a letter back in the mail.  What a great way to get your kids involved and show their voice is heard. Here is a template from the NonGMO project. You can download, print, and mail it.  Post a picture of the letter your kids write on social media.

3. Post on your Social Media.  Post videos. Post links to documentaries.  Post Questions. Post Answers. Host a Non-GMO Education Week on your Social Media where each day you post on GMO’s.  What they are? How to Avoid them. Pictures of products you love that are NonGMO certified. Links to petitions. Dispel common GMO Labeling myths. Explain why the proposed ‘Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act’ is called the ‘Dark Act’ instead by so many people.

Have links to webpages ready to back up what you say on Social Media. People will not always agree. Show tact and grace when you respond to others.

4.  Download Shopping Guides. The ‘NonGMO Project Shopping Guide’ to your smartphone to use while you shop. Tell your friends about this guide. Go to the App Store to download.

The Institute for Responsible Technology hosts an online shopping guide.

The NonGMO Project website: shopping guide.

5. Dispel Myths about GMO’s.  Dispel myths that they are safe: point to current childhood cancer, asthma, allergy, and developmental disorder rates skyrocketing in the past 10-15 years. Where is the link? Could it be consumption of GMO’s? Could it be in our environment from insecticides and herbicides increasingly used year by year?

Dispel Myths that labeling our food will make costs go up. This graphic explains why cost would not go up just to change labels. The manufacturers already go through scheduled label changes so it would cost no more money than a regular update to their change their labeling. Also their formulations would not be forced to be changed only the labels.

Granted, their products would be more transparent in what they contain.   What we buy (supply and demand) is what drives costs. If more people bought organically and Non GMO you are still buying. You may buy less. However, if you buy less, you waste less.  It won’t singlehandedly ruin the economy by labeling GMO containing foods. We would be placing our dollars towards a greater good and into the hands of organic farmers (less chemicals used in agriculture= less harmful environmental impact). Our agricultural economy could be driven by local, organic farming practices instead of big business.

Did you know that when the US exports food to the countries that require mandatory GMO labelingthat it is labeled for them?

Wait… exact same product, exact same manufacturer and  it’s GMO labeled for other countries but not for US consumption? 

‘Moreover, for U.S. food manufacturers that do export GMO food to any of the 64 countries around the world that require labeling, disclosing the presence of genetically engineered ingredients in their products is just another part of doing business.’ [1]

Dispel Myths that GMO crops are necessary to produce higher yields. This article from the Union of Concerned Scientists lists statistics about GMO crop performance. (It’s a lengthy read). It outlines evidence that disproves any myth that GMO food is grown in more abundance than traditional farming practices.

‘This EWG analysis debunks the myth that we need GMOs to feed the world, noting that GMO crops in the US are no more productive than non-GMO crops in western Europe.’ [1]

Screen-Shot-2015-02-19-at-6_30_16-PM

Photo courtesy of EWG.org: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2011.

6. Wear It!  How easy would it be to have a T-shirt printed: ‘I support GMO labeling.’ Wear it to the grocery store. Start a conversation with a stranger about what GMO’s are. Hand out flyers about GMO’s. Buy a t-shirt from one of the campaigns listed in section 1 above.

7. Tell ONE person, just ONE person today about GMO’s and what you are doing to protect your families health.

The good news? We have a voice.

 Buy USDA organic. Look for the Non GMO Verified label. Buy food from stores that support labeling initiatives.

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Sources:

  1. Just Label It website. “GMO Crops and Saving the World.” Accessed September 18, 2015. http://www.justlabelit.org/about-ge-foods-center/gmo-crops-the-developing-world/
  2. How to for Dummies website. “How to read organic food labels.” Accessed September 23, 2015.  http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-read-organic-food-labels.html

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