Proposed GMO labeling bill doesn’t ensure clarity

July 15, 2016

Dear President Obama:

We, the undersigned 286 organizations, urge a swift veto on S.764, a proposal on GMO labeling that falls far short of the clear on-package mandatory labeling that consumers expect.

The bill S. 764 is deeply flawed. Look no further than the disagreement between the FDA, the agency charged with labeling authority for many foods, and the USDA. The FDA argues that the bill may not lead to a single label, because of the inadequate definition adopted by the Senate. The USDA’s clarification is vague at best and leaves far too much room for future interpretation as to which genetically engineered foods will require labeling.

Even if the rules and regulations can be developed, S. 764 allows companies to conceal genetically engineered ingredient information behind QR Codes, websites or 800 numbers which would require consumers to have internet access and a smartphone to determine what’s in their food. This is confusing and discriminatory. Shoppers don’t have the time to use a QR code reader or make a cell phone call for every product they wish to buy. The challenges in low-income and rural communities are even greater, where smartphones, adequate data plans and good network coverage are often not a reality of everyday life.

The campaign promise that you made in 2007, that, “we’ll let folks know if their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they are buying,” will not be fulfilled by this bill. We are asking for four simple words clearly written on the package, “Produced with genetic engineering.” This label is already being found throughout grocery stores across the country as companies label their food for the Vermont GMO labeling law that went into effect on July 1, 2016. American companies had no problem complying with Vermont’s law and food costs did not go up despite repeated false warnings from the Grocery Manufacturers Association that it would.

The federal government should not preempt the GMO labeling laws on the books in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine unless Congress is prepared to pass a law that is as strong as the standards being set by the states. Please Veto S.764 and stand with the American people.

Sincerely,

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:

American Anti-Vivisection Society
American Sustainable Business Council
Ben & Jerry’s, Homemade Inc.
Center for Food Safety
Chiron Communications
Choose Wiser
Citizens for GMO Labeling
Community Food and Justice Coalition
Consumers Union
Dr. Good Original Lip Balm
Earth Open Source Institute
Eco-Justice Ministries
Experimental Farm Network

Family Farm Defenders
Farm Aid
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance
Food & Water Watch
Food Babe
Food Democracy Now!
Food Empowerment Project
Friends of the Earth
GMO Action Alliance
GMO Free USA
GMO Inside
Green America
Greenbuilder.com
Greenpeace USA
Holistic Orchard Network
Institute for Responsible Technology
Iroquois Valley Farms, LLC
Labelgmos.org
Mamavation
Matt’s Cookie Bars
Moms Across America
Moms Advocating Sustainability
Moms For Safe Food
National Family Farm Coalition
Nature’s Path Foods Inc
Non-GMO Project
Nutiva
Organic Seed Alliance
Physicians For Social Responsibility
Planetary Health/Amberwaves
Popular Resistance
Presence Marketing
Psychologists for Social Responsibility – Environmental Action Group
Real Food Challenge
Rodale Institute
Rural Coalition
Sisters of St Dominic
Slow Food USA
Songs4Peace
The Bioscience Resource Project
The Cornucopia Institute
The Namaste Center
U.S. Right to Know

STATE AND LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS:

350NJ
8 Limbs Holistic Health, LLC
Abbey Church Essene
Abundance Food Co-Op
Activate CT
Acupuncture & Everything Wellness
Advocates for Justice
AIMA of Nashua, PLLC
Alaska Trollers Association
American Federation Of Government Employees (AFL-CIO), Local 3354 American Home
AppleSeed Permaculture NJ
Ashland Food Co-op
BarMax Philadelphia
Barrington Natural Farms
Bee Fields Farm
Beehive Chocolates
Berks Gas Truth
Biosafety Alliance
Birchwood Cafe
Bloodroot Farm, LLC
Brooklyn Bridge CSA
Camden County Chickens
Camp Grant Family Farm/Clover Crossing Cape Cod Mycological Society
Central Park West CSA
Chicopee Center Chiropracic
Citizens for Sanity.Com., Inc.
Clean Yield Asset Management
Colabination Corp
Collingswood Community Garden
Comeback Farm
Community Growers’ Exchange
Connecticut Families Against Chemical Trespass (Connfact)
Coos Head Food Co-op
Corn Cow, Inc.
Cornucopia Network of NJ
Council For Responsible Genetics
Crossroads Chiropractic
Cucina Verde
Dakota Resource Council
Dean’s Beans Organic Coffee Company
Diane Yanzo Wellness
Donna Connor Photography
Early Bird Cafe Inc
Earth First Farms
Earthsource
East New York Farms!
Eat Well Be Well
Ellen Epiphany
Equine Health Alliance
Farm to City, LLC
Farmhouse Roasters
Farmtable Procurement and Delivery

Farmworker Association of Florida
Flywheel Farm
Food for Maine’s Future
Gap Mountain Goats
Genesis Farm
GMO Free Cascadia
GMO Free CT
GMO Free Florida
GMO Free Lane County
GMO Free Nevada
GMO Free NJ
GMO Free NY
GMO Free Pennsylvania
GMO Free Washington/Oregon
GMO-free Maryland
Go Green Northbrook
Good Earth Natural Food Company
Good Earth Natural Foods
Good Health Natural Foods
Grace Tavern
Granite State Natural Foods Inc.
Grow More, Waste Less
Haddon Township Backyard Chicken Board
Haddon Township Community Garden
Hale Hill Biofuels
Heartland Cafe In Chicago
Hillside Springs Farm
Holistic Family Nutrition
Horticultural Society Of South Jersey
Howe Family Farm
Hunger Action LA
Hunger Action Network of NYS
Hunger Mountain Cooperative
Hungry Bear Farm
Illinois Right to Know GMO
Illinois Stewardship Alliance
Indiana GMO Awareness Network
INH
Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement
J C Wagmore All Natural Dog Treats
Just Food
Keaau Natural Foods, Inc.
Kezialain Farm
Kokarev Counseling Services
Label GMO Nevada
Label The Truth Ohio
Lake County Foodshed
Larson Farm and Creamery
LEAD Agency, Inc.
Lehigh Valley Gas Truth
Library Seed Bank
Living Earth
MA Right to Know GMOs
Manchester Area Consumer Coop
March Against Monsanto Denver
Martindale’s Natural Market
Mauch Chunk Historical Society
Maysies Farm
Meadowhawk Homestead
Media Farmers Market
Mendocino Organic Network
Mesa Winds Farm & Winery
Metta Earth Institute
Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Monk’s Cafe
Mountain Lakes Organic Co-op, LLC
Moveon.Org of Massachusetts
National Organization for Women Of New Jersey
Natural Awakenings
Natural Contents Kitchen
Natural Food Exchange
Nature’s Food Patch
Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society

Neighboring Food Co-op Association
New Jersey Health Federation
New Life Design
New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG)
NH Accents Fine Crafts
NH Christmas Markets
NH Right to Know GMO
NINJA Holistic Health and Fitness
NJ PDA
No GMO 4 Michigan
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA)
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Massachusetts
Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY)
Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont
Northern NJ Chapter, National Organization for Women
Northern Plains Resource Council
Northwest Resistance Against Genetic Engineering
Nourish Ur Life
Nutrition Prescription LLC
NYC Grassroots Alliance
NYC H2O
Oaklyn Backyard Chickens
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Oceana Natural Food Cooperative
Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association
Oregonians for Safe Farms And Families
Our Family Farms
Path to Better Health NJ L.L.C. PCC Natural Markets
Peets Farm
Pennsylvania Farmers Union Pepper’s Haven Ranch
Pioneer Valley Nutritional Therapy
Powder River Basin Resource Council
Progressive Asset Management Boston Quest
Rainbow Natural Grocery Cooperative Raritan Headwaters
Real Pickles Cooperative, Inc.
Red Fire Farm
Regeneration Vermont And Cedar Circle Farm And Education Center, E. Thetford, Vt. 05043

Right to Know Colorado – GMO
Right to Know Minnesota
Roots Realty
Rural Vermont
Sassy Spoon
Sclar Family Health and Education Seward Community Co-Op
Slow Food Hudson Valley
Slow Food Nebraska
Slow Food Northern New Jersey
Slow Food Philadelphia
Slow Food Redlands
Souhegan Transition Network
South Agassiz Resource Council
South Jersey Permaculture
South Jersey Seed Circle Library
Speedoo Sound
SSJ Group llc
St. Mary’s Advocates for Justice
Standish Brook Farm
Support Local Food Rights
Sustainable Haddon Heights
Sustainable Living Systems
Sustys Cafe
Swiss Haus Bakery
Tennessee Chapter Sierra Club
The Belgian Cafe
The Counseling Studio
The Ecology Party
The Farmworker Association of Florida, Inc

The Green Dad
The Green Grocer
The Last Resort Farm
The Mendocino Grain Project
The Open Mind Foundation
The Organic & Non-GMO Report
The Relationship Institute
The Van Pelt House
The Visioning Body
The Wisdom Within
The Write Approach
Toxic Free NC
Treehugger Organic Farms
Tri-County Sustainability Alliance
Vitus and Ovis Vineyard
VPIRG
Walters Signs
Washington Biotechnology Action Council
WESPAC Foundation
Westchester Safe
Western Colorado Congress
Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC)
Whole Earth Center
Wilcox Works, LLC
Wild Hill Organics
Wild Oats Market
Willimantic Food Coop
Winter Garden Project, L3c
Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom US Section
Worcester Food Policy Council
Yogalife Institute
Zeal – Food for Enthusiasts

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