No more "GMO-free" food?
- Dear Devin
If the U.S. government has its way, a powerful intergovernmental group you've probably never heard of may soon prevent anyone anywhere from labeling genetically modified (GMO) food.Operated by the United Nations, the Codex Alimentarius is a collection of guidelines, codes and recommendations regarding food safety and labeling standards used by the World Trade Organization (WTO) to settle international disputes regarding food and agricultural export agreements.According to draft language circulated by the FDA, the U.S. will oppose a proposal at an upcoming meeting of an important Codex committee that would allow the labeling of genetically engineered food. Consumers Union and more than 80 family farm, public health, environmental and organic food organizations have raised concerns that the U.S. position will create major problems for American producers who want to label their products as "GMO-free."Unfortunately, rather than taking a proactive stance on GMO labeling and standing up for the rights of American citizens, the Obama administration has incorporated pre-existing Bush administration positions stating that Codex should not "suggest or imply that GM/GE foods are in any way different from other foods."Leading national food policy experts believe this position directly contradicts USDA Organic standards, which prohibit the use of genetically engineered products. If adopted, the Obama administration's proposal might weaken organic standards and could also lead to further genetic contamination of U.S. organic crops — the fastest growing and most profitable segment of agriculture today.Even worse, the current U.S. draft position paper declares that mandatory labeling laws such as they have in Europe are "false, misleading or deceptive." If the U.S. succeeds in writing these proposals into the Codex, any attempts here in the U.S. to label foods as genetically engineered, whether voluntary or by law, would become far more difficult.Thank you for working to make a better world.Adam Klaus, Campaign Manager
CREDO Action from Working Assets
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