UPDATE: The DARK Act was defeated in the Senate! A major victory for America’s right to know!
This week the Senate is likely to vote on a bill that amends the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 to establish a “national voluntary labeling standard” for genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Labeling products that contain GMOs has been a hot-button topic for a while now, and one that we here at Badger are following very closely. In fact, Badger Bill wrote a short piece last year on Badger’s stance on GMO labeling.
What’s the big deal?
The proposed bill would pre-empt state-level GMO laws, like the one introduced in Vermont last year and set to go into effect this July. As far as I can tell the only thing this bill would do is limit individual state rights as there is no language proposing a uniform standard or addressing consumer concerns.
The major issue is that there are many Americans who are asking for the right to know. Whether you believe GMOs are safe or suspicious, the information should be easily accessible. Think of it this way: just because I’m not watching my sodium intake doesn’t mean that the amount of sodium in foods shouldn’t be clearly stated. This is the food that we nourish our families and ourselves with, and quite simply, we have a right to know where it comes from and how it’s produced.
USDA Organic = no GMOs
Despite the ongoing argument around a single national labeling standard, today there are ways to seek out food and other products that do not contain GMOs. One of the simplest and most trustworthy is the USDA certified organic seal.
Even though the seal doesn’t explicitly say no GMOs on the label, the National Organic Program (NOP) doesn’t allow GMOs in products labeled certified organic. And because this certification is well established, there are robust checks and balances regulating the process.
So whether it’s food or body care, if a product bears the certified organic seal then there are no GMOs. The USDA doesn’t stop there, however, as it also means no synthetic pesticides, no antibiotics, and no hormones.
There are a few other certifications that individual companies can employ to verify that a product is free of GMOs. Since Badger’s sunscreens cannot be certified organic (due to the zinc oxide), we’ve chosen the NSF Non-GMO certification. Part two of this series will focus on that, so stay tuned!
So what else can we do?
Currently, it is the sole responsibility of companies (like Badger) to obtain and advertise non-GMO certifications. By supporting companies that are USDA certified organic and/or transparent in labeling GMOs, you are sending a clear message to “big food” that this issue is important enough to influence your purchasing decisions.
And at the end of the day, your purchasing decisions are what “big food” cares about!
So if GMOs are a big issue for you, change the conversation by purchasing from companies that offer transparency and accountability. Support good companies with your hard-earned dollars and you can help change the direction of the food industry. You have the power.
Join the No GMOs conversation below!