Dear Food Democracy Now! Supporters,
Yesterday morning, at 10:34 AM Eastern Standard Time, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, headed by Secretary Tom Vilsack, announced the approval of the “non-browning” GMO “Arctic Apple”.
As Food Democracy Now! has previously reported, the GMO "Arctic Apple" relies on a new “gene silencing” technique that scientists believe could interfere with the expression of genes in humans, potentially causing serious health problems. More immediately, while the scientific risks are being debated, the impact for America’s food supply are significant as this Kiss of Death GMO apple will most certainly contaminate neighboring organic and conventional apple growers’ orchards, significantly harming U.S. apple export markets for America’s apple growers.
Despite these serious scientific warnings, the Obama administration has once again rubberstamped the approval of a new, potentially harmful GMO crop. This week's approval is an outrage and another sign that Americans absolutely need mandatory GMO labeling to assert their basic right of consumer choice in the marketplace.
Ironically, the approval of the Okanagan Kiss of Death GMO apple comes less than 24 hours after members of Congress reintroduced a bill to support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food.
This week Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and House Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced the "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act" to make labeling of GMO food mandatory in the United States.
The introduction of the Boxer, DeFazio mandatory GMO labeling bill comes days ahead of the expected reintroduction of a bill by Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) that would outlaw mandatory GMO labeling in the U.S. and preempt states from passing common sense GMO labeling bills.
As Food Democracy Now! reported last year, when Pompeo introduced H.R. 4432, which he deceptively titled the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, the biotech seed and pesticide industry is growing desperate in their efforts to kill the growing national movement of millions of Americans that support mandatory GMO labeling.
If allowed to pass, Pompeo’s dangerous bill would permanently outlaw the FDA's ability to require mandatory labeling and honest transparency to the American public about genetically engineered foods. This bill is the Ultimate Monsanto Protection Act!
What Pompeo’s Ultimate Monsanto Protection Act, will do:
- Preempt states from requiring labeling of genetically engineered food;
- Prevent the FDA from requiring GMO labeling;
- Allow “natural” foods to contain genetically engineered ingredients;
- Creates a new GMO “review” system based on industry science, impossible deadlines, and loopholes for certain food additives and animals fed conventional food.
It’s time for GMO labeling! Don’t let Monsanto’s GMO trolls in Congress kill GMO labeling – take a stand today!
It’s days like this that can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s important to remember that four years ago there was no national movement to label GMOs in America.
In three short years, you’ve helped pass strong GMO labeling bills in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine and forced Monsanto, DuPont, Dow Chemical and their junk food allies to spend more than $100 million to lie to the American public about why they refuse to tell us what’s in our food.
The real outrage is that these same companies already label their products in 64 countries around the world with simple labels and it's time that Americans share that same basic right.
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. “Feds Approve GMO Apple”, Politico, February 13, 2015
2. “USDA Announces Deregulation of Non-Browning Apples” USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service sent this bulletin at February 13, 2015 10:34 AM EST
3. Zhang et al. (2012) “Exogenous plant MIR168a specifically targets mammalian LDLRAP1: evidence of cross-kingdom regulation by microRNA”, Cell Research, 22:107-26. http://action.
4. Heinemann, Jack. A., et al (2013, May). “A comparative evaluation of the regulation of GM crops or products containing dsRNA and suggested improvements to risk assessments”, Environment International. Vol 55: 43-45. http://action.
5. “Tell Obama to Stop Biotech’s New GMO Kiss of Death Apple”, Food Democracy Now!, December 16, 2013