The Pressure’s On

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Katey Parker

Katey Parker › Katey's first food memory involves herself hands deep and covered in Gregg's famous chocolate cake, resulting ...

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Yesterday, Just Label It! announced that a petition started last September to require the labeling of GMOs has received a record-breaking ONE MILLION comments in just under 180 days. Historically, this is the largest number of people to weigh in on a food petition since the establishment of the Food and Drug Administration.

The record number came just in time, as the FDA’s response to the petition was required by Tuesday, March 27th. 

The strength of the campaign was due to over 500 organizations who exposed the truth behind GMOs and drew support to the cause, as well as America’s growing concern to know what’s in our food system.

Just Label It! also released a new national survey, showing that more than nine out of ten Americans across political divides support the labeling genetically engineered food, along with a compelling visual (shown above) to show the data.

The question now: will the FDA act accordingly?

No formal response from the FDA has been reported, but unfortunately, governmental change is looking grim.

Siobhan DeLancey, an FDA spokeswoman, said, "companies are welcome to label their products on a voluntary basis as long as it's truthful and not misleading, and it doesn't imply that it's somehow better than the conventional counterpart." (from Reuters)

Monsanto, the leading company in agricultural biotech seeds, and avid user of GMOs, claims there is no safety concern, and therefore, labels would only be misleading. Others say the cost of labels would be too high, taking into account enforcement, and potential litigation.

Luckily, the majority of Americans have begun to recognize that the cost of our health is far greater. Nearly 20 U.S. states are considering making labels a requirement, and many have already created various bills now circulating throughout their state government. Both California and Connecticut are at the forefront, bringing nationwide attention to their efforts. Connecticut’s labeling bill passed through the Environmental Committee with flying colors last week, and is now being presented to the House and Senate for possible passage.  

Just another example of how citizens are taking the food system into our own hands, one million at a time.

If this issue is important to you and you have yet to add your voice, Just Label It! is still accepting names on the petition.