TELL USDA SECRETARY, TOM VILSACK: DON’T MESS WITH VERMONT
Last year, our collective efforts stopped the DARK Act and prevented a DARK Act Rider from being placed into December’s omnibus spending bill. We need you to step up, once again, to fight for food transparency.
On January 07, Campbell’s Soup Company announced that they are going to comply with Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law by labeling all products across their brands. Additionally, Campbell will stop the fight against our movement and, instead, be advocating for a national, mandatory, simply-worded, on-the-package labeling standard. This is a stunning victory in a 20+ year war against the American consumer’s right to know what’s in our food.
The timing of this announcement is crucial as Congress dusts off the cobwebs of the holiday break and forges ahead with plans to strike a deal between consumers who want to know about GMO ingredients and food producers who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to keep this information hidden. USDA Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack has announced that he plans to hold a closed door, invitation-only GMO labeling summit in Washington D.C. potentially this week. While we welcome the opportunity to end the war against consumers’ right to know, it’s important that the following terms be met for any “deal” to be acceptable:
- Vermont’s GMO labeling law must be preserved as written with no federal preemption, changes, or delay.
- Any “summits” regarding GMO labeling should be attended by representatives from the 4 states that currently have GMO labeling laws: Alaska, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont.
- The meetings must be open to the public and/or broadcast live and recorded.
- Any federal GMO labeling law, rule, or policy MUST be mandatory–not voluntary.
- Any discussion about federal GMO labeling laws MUST address:
- A) Clearly worded, easy to read, on the package labeling of Genetically Engineered ingredients with the GE ingredients clearly identified on the label using the words “genetically engineered” or “produced with genetic engineering”.
- B) QR codes or other symbols designed to replace the listing of GE ingredients on the label are not acceptable.
- C) Rules for labeling GMO meats (i.e. GE salmon) must be drafted and implemented.
- D) A national mandatory labeling law to take effect by July 1, 2016.
GMO labeling, itself, is already a compromise. The FDA allowed genetically engineered crops to enter our food supply without independent, long-term toxicity studies and mandatory safety testing. A growing body of evidence suggests that GMOs are harmful to our health and the environment. In the absence of sufficient independent and long-term safety testing of GMO foods, a clear label is the only way to protect consumers.
Any agreement that falls short of the above stipulations will NOT be accepted by our movement, and any organization within our movement invited to represent our interests is hereby put on notice that we are watching these negotiations VERY carefully and we will not allow ourselves to be sold out!
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Send an email to Vilsack. The call his office at 202-720-3631
This petition is now closed.
End date: Feb 21, 2016
Signatures collected: 7711
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