Dear President Obama,
Please veto any bill that comes out of the Congress that would preempt Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law, which was enacted on July 1.
The Senate has produced a “compromise” federal labeling law that is being misrepresented as a “uniform, mandatory labeling solution.” House members have indicated they will support this bill.
In a campaign speech you gave in 2007, in Iowa, you said, “Here’s what I’ll do as President . . . . We’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they’re buying.”
On May 20, 2009, you issued an Executive Order to heads of executive departments and agencies stating that “preemption of State law by executive departments and agencies should be undertaken only with full consideration of the legitimate prerogatives of the States and with a sufficient legal basis for preemption.”
Vermont’s law is working. Corporations are already printing the words “produced with genetic engineering” on labels.
The latest version of the federal bill would leave consumers in the dark for at least another two years. It has no enforcement mechanism, and calls for no penalties for non-compliance. It is allows corporations to substitute electronic codes for clear on-package labels—this would discriminate against anyone who can’t afford a smartphone or doesn’t have reliable internet service.
The FDA points out that this bill would exempt most of the common genetically engineered ingredients from even requiring to be “labeled” behind convoluted, confusing QR codes.
GMOs are required to be labeled in 64 other countries. But despite the fact that nine out of 10 Americans say they want this information, thanks to nearly $400 million in lobbying by the biotech and food industries, Congress wants to keep this information hidden from Americans.
Please veto this unpopular, discriminatory, deeply flawed bill. Thank you.