WASHINGTON – Today the Department of Agriculture released a final rule to implement the mandatory GMO disclosure law passed in 2016. It will allow the genetically engineered ingredients in many foods to remain hidden from consumers. Below is a statement from Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group:
No one should be surprised that the most anti-consumer, anti-transparency administration in modern times is denying Americans basic information about what’s in their food and how it’s grown.
The Trump administration has yet again put the interests of pesticide and biotech companies ahead of the interests of ordinary Americans.
The final GMO disclosure rule fails to meet the clear intent of Congress to create a mandatory disclosure standard that includes all genetically engineered foods and uses terms that consumers understand. A fair standard should address the needs of consumers who don’t have expensive phones or who live in rural places with poor cell service but the rule put forward today simply fails to do that.
At a time when consumers are asking more and more questions about the use of genetic engineering, today’s rule will further undermine the technology by sowing greater confusion among Americans who simply want the right to know if their food is genetically modified – the same right held by consumers in 64 other countries.
Despite today’s disappointing, and likely unlawful, decision, we are pleased that companies that trust consumers – including Campbell’s, Mars, Danone, Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola and Unilever – will voluntarily disclose all GMOs in all their foods, not just in those required by the final rule.
EWG is announcing today that it has created a new portal on its Food Scores website for consumers who want to seek out certified organic and non-GMO options. The website lists more than 3,000 food products that are both certified organic and certified GMO-free.
The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.