Ingredient Information: Now Only for Those With a Data Plan
This bill allows companies to forgo any clear GMO labeling they’re already using on their packaging, such as the one below:
Source: The Consumerist
Instead, companies can replace it with vague ingredient information about their products like website addresses, QR codes, text replies and 1-800 numbers.
But the real issue here is that these codes require consumers to have access to cellular phones, the internet and sometimes both in order to get to the food information they are seeking.
For some folks, this may not seem like such a big deal (if you’re reading this on your smartphone, that may include you), but for over 100 million Americans, this bill is blatant discrimination.
The U.S. government is making it legal for Big Food to discriminate against those who can’t afford this technology, don’t understand how to use it or don’t wish to use it.
I will admit, even the clear GMO labels like the one on the biscuits above aren’t perfect.
There are millions of folks in this country who aren't able to read, read print that small or read English. This means that even with the clearly worded GMO labeling that’s already in place, there are plenty of people unable to decipher if they are purchasing genetically modified foods.
However, even with their flaws, these labels are much easier to navigate and more affordable than the cellular contract you'll have to sign to access the ingredient information of the future.
But most upsetting — the government could’ve made a simple symbol-based label, like Brazil’s transgenic label. This easy-to-understand label is added to any food with 1 percent or more genetically modified ingredients.
Source: Library of Congress
Pretty simple, right? No reading, scanning, calling or texting. If you see the symbol, you know your food contains GM ingredients.
Instead, the U.S. government has chosen to take the low road. Not only are they deliberately hiding vital food information from Americans — an act of discrimination no matter what your situation is — they’re also lending a hand to the companies that are feeding you toxins.
What’s next? We will all have to run out and buy iPads in order to vote?