Russia labels GMOs, while America’s government sells out to the biotech poisoners and propagandists

Monday, March 25, 2019 by: Vicki Batts

(Natural News) GMO labeling laws have been a source of controversy in the United States for quite some time. Consumer advocates have called upon the federal government to protect Americans’ right to freedom of choice and to encourage transparency in the food industry, but officials seem to be more interested in defending corporate interests. Industry leaders are afraid proper GMO labeling will interfere with their bottom lines — that alone should be a huge red flag. But while federal officials in the United States are twiddling their thumbs over GMOs, nations around the world are beginning to take action. Russia, for example, just introduced clear GMO labeling on all foods.

While GMO labeling laws have been passed in the United States, the proposed implementation of such laws leaves much to be desired. Critics say GMO labeling practices enacted here in America function more like propaganda for the biotech industry. Brightly colored smiley-face stickers that don’t even bear the letters “GMO” are hardly a clear identifier, after all. Heaven forbid Americans actually make informed decisions about the food they eat– the entire industry would collapse overnight if people knew what they were really getting.

Clear GMO labeling comes to Russia

The Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which includes Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Belarus, introduced their new, clear GMO labeling practices at the start of the new year. All food and supplements containing genetically modified ingredients will bear a “GMO” label on the packaging.

As Sustainable Pulse reports:

According to the new regulations, the basic size of the GMO label must not be less than 5 mm. The technical regulations also require that the GMO label be applied in a manner that provides easy readability and visibility throughout the shelf life of food and supplement products.

Across the board, the EAEU is taking a firm stance on GMOs. In 2016, Russia’s State Duma voted on a bill which would ban the cultivation of GMO crops and animals in Russia entirely, except for scientific purposes. And in 2018, the Kyrgyzstan government announced that it would be the second country in the world to adopt organic-only farming practices.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is a world away from reaching any kind of transparency on GMOs.

GMO labeling in the U.S. is lackluster

Congress passed a law to label GMO products in the U.S. back in 2016. Since that time, federal officials have been struggling to come up with the specifics of labeling such items. The USDA recently revealed a few of the “options” they’ve come up with. As NPR reports, all options are brightly colored, friendly looking labels that bear the letters “B.E” instead of “GMO.” Some show a smiling sun, or a circle of growing plants, too.

“B.E” is apparently supposed to stand for “bioengineered,” and this little change is clearly an attempt at placating Big Biotech and Big Ag. As critics have stated, replacing the well-known and easily recognizable term “GMO” arbitrarily with some new term will only confuse consumers. The average person may not be aware of the fact that “B.E” actually means “GMO.”

This is a blatant attempt to obscure truth and feign transparency, and it should not be tolerated. The federal government is literally conspiring to fool the American people, to protect corporate interests. Who are these federal agencies supposed to serve and protect, again?

George Kimbrell, the legal director for the Center for Food Safety, criticized the USDA’s iteration of GMO labeling. “They’re very pro-biotech, cartoonishly so, and to that extent are, you know, not just imparting information but instead are essentially propaganda for the industry,” he told NPR.

The failure to come up with a clear and easily understood label for GMO products is an affront to American freedom. Regardless of one’s view on GMOs, the simple fact remains that people have the right to choose what they put in their bodies. Ingredient labels exist for a reason — and GMO labels should, too. (Click to Source)

Learn about GMO labeling and more at GMO.news.

Sources for this article include:

SustainablePulse.com

NPR.org

Organic Trade Association sues the USDA for refusing to enforce its own organic livestock standards

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(Natural News) On January 18, 2017, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published its final rule on organic livestock and poultry production practices, known as the Organic Animal Welfare Rule. This legislation represented the culmination of 14 years of hard work by Congress and organic stakeholders, and contained rules that had to be implemented in a structured way over the next five years. When a White House Memorandum was published just days later requesting a freeze on all recently published or pending rules, the implementation date was extended to 19 May 2017. The USDA then pushed that date back even further, and now the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is suing the regulator for failing to implement its own standards.

The rule was established to provide for the humane treatment and slaughter of certified organic poultry and meat, and includes regulations regarding:

  • Indoor and outdoor space for poultry;
  • How to ensure the health and well-being of livestock during their lifetimes, and how to safely and humanely transport and slaughter them;
  • Specific timelines for when various aspects of the rule have to be implemented; and
  • Clarification of existing organic standards.

While the implementation of organic standards is purely voluntary and only accepted by farmers who wish to carry the USDA certified organic label, they are important because the organic market is booming and consumers have specific expectations of foods labeled in this way.

A press release from the OTA explains:

American consumers are eating more organic food than ever before, show the findings of the Organic Trade Association’s 2017 Organic Industry Survey. Organic food sales in the U.S. totaled $43.1  billion in 2016, marking the first time organic food sales in this country have broken through the $40 billion mark. Organic food now accounts for more than five percent of total food sales in this country, another significant first for organic.

Organic meat and poultry sales posted new records in 2016, increasing by more than 17 percent to $991 million, for the category’s biggest-ever yearly gain. Sales are expected to surpass the $1 billion mark for the first time in 2017. Growing awareness of organic’s more encompassing benefits over natural, grass-fed or hormone-free meats and poultry is spurring consumer interest in organic meat and poultry aisles.

These consumers expect the USDA label to be a guarantee that the highest standards are being maintained, and that animal welfare practices are being carefully upheld.

The OTA, farmers and businesses are pushing for the implementation of the rule because they believe it is “the right thing to do and it is what our customers expect.” (Related: Read about other important issues affecting animals and the environment at Environ.news)

The USDA, however, has dragged its heels in the implementation of the rule, even though those most directly involved – the organic farmers – have welcomed it with open arms.  (Related: USDA running massive glyphosate cover-up, refuses to test foods for traces of cancer-causing herbicide chemical used on GM crops.)

The OTA’s lawsuit alleges the following:

  • The USDA’s repeated delays in this matter are a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act;
  • The USDA has proposed action which could indefinitely delay or kill the rule, which is also a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act;
  • The USDA is in violation of the Organic Foods Production Act; and
  • The Executive order freezing regulations should not be applied to the rule because these standards are voluntary and industry-driven, rather than an example of government overreach. (Click to Site)

FDA to use millions in taxpayer dollars to promote GMO propaganda

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(Natural News) You might not be willing to buy GMO foods, but you’ll still be spending money on them thanks to a new congressional bill that allocates $3 million of taxpayer dollars to “consumer outreach and education regarding agricultural biotechnology.”

A Pew study recently discovered that 39 percent of people in the U.S. think GMOs are bad for your health, and now the FDA – and those who line its pockets – want to rid the American public of this very inconvenient belief. Organic food is growing in popularity, and this is making them increasingly nervous.

More than 65 food and agriculture groups sent a letter to congressional leaders pushing them to add support for agricultural bioscience in this budget, and it was probably hard for them to say no when you consider the fact that Big Ag interests have donated more than $26 million to political campaigns, including congressmen who are on the House Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee. Subcommittee Chair Representative Robert B. Aderholt (R-Ala.), for example, was given $10,000 by Monsanto last year.

The letter says the campaign is necessary because of all the “misinformation” that is floating around about the topic. Big Ag sure knows a lot about misinformation. In fact, firms like Monsanto are experts at getting their own pro-GMO message out to the public, even going so far as to enlist a team of internet trolls whose sole purpose is to find anyone who posts negative comments about pesticides like Roundup and GMOs online and attack them. They even have a name for this effort – “let nothing go” – and they’re targeting everything from widely-read news articles to people’s comments on Facebook.

The FDA is not an educational body. Its purpose is regulating the safety of our nation’s food and medical devices. It’s already failing miserably at what it was originally set up to do, and now it’s taking on additional tasks? (Click to Article)