Anti-GMO rally in Hartford.
Connecticut made news last year by passing a “sort-of” requirement that most products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) be labeled that way. (The “sort-of” qualification is there because the requirement won’t actually take effect unless a whole bunch of other stuff happens.)
Other states are moving in the same direction, and a few big corporations like General Mills have made some concessions on the GMO front in an effort appease consumers who want such labeling.
So Big Food and Big Agriculture are again looking to work their lobbying magic in Congress. They want a federal law that would create a standard for “voluntary” GMO labeling, which would presumably undercut state legislative campaigns on the issue.
Most polls show overwhelming public support for GMO labeling, despite the insistence by federal officials and the food/agriculture industries that there is no health risk to eating genetically modified food.
Critics argue not enough is known about those risks, and point out that GMO crops can also have a significant impact on the environment.
The ferocious opposition to labeling from major food and agriculture industrial giants also raises questions about why, if there’s no real difference between GMO foods and non-GMO foods, are they so opposed to simple labels.
The answer to that is money: U.S. companies dependent on GMO crops, seeds, related pesticide applications, and the corporations who sell GMO foods are terrified American consumers will end up rejecting those products.
Europe already has basically done that, and similar actions have been taken in other nations around the world.
All of which explains why Big Food and Big Agriculture are counting on the congressional route, despite recent victories against anti-GMO efforts in California and Washington.
Those industries clearly have some devoted supporters in Congress, including various farming-state legislators who killed a pro-GMO labeling amendment during the debate over the latest federal farm bill.