We have been working a very long time to get GMOs labeled…many of you since 2011. We are now in the home stretch.
This is our last chance to have our voices heard.
Does it matter? You bet it does. The Center For Food Safety has said that this proposal looks very different than most regulations in that it has many gaps and ambiguities that have not yet been figured out. We need your voice to comment on the USDA.gov page to ensure that they know exactly what the people of the US want.
This post is chocked full of useful information, but with no extra fluff on our part that requires you to spend more time reading instead of acting:
The USDA has published its proposed language for regulating GMO labeling. We have been calling the law enacted by D.C. in 2016 the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know Act). The government calls it the “Safe and Affordable Food Act.” The USDA is asking for comments on their proposal called: “Establishment of a National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard.”
The text of the proposal is here: https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=AMS-TM-17-0050-0004
A good article on the proposed regulations.
The USDA Press release on the regulation is here: https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/05/03/usda-seeks-comments-proposed-rule-national-bioengineered-food
We need comments on the USDA site, Faxed or sent in via snail mail by July 3, 2018.
PLEASE REALIZE THAT SIGNING PETITIONS ONLINE IS NOT ENOUGH. UDSA WILL ONLY FORMALLY RECOGNIZE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN COMMENTS ON THE USDA SITE, FAX OR SNAIL MAIL.
We are not saying don’t sign petitions, but we are definitely saying that it’s not enough. In order for your voice to matter, you MUST comment on the USDA.gov site OR send in your comment via FAX or snail mail by July 3, 2018.
How to Comment:
1- Click here or cut and paste: https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=AMS-TM-17-0050-0004
It will look like this:
2- Fill out your comment in the top box
3- Fill out your personal information as it asks you to
4- It will go to a page that shows you what your comment will look like on the site. It also allows you to edit the comment if you so desire.
5- At the bottom it will say: “You are filing a document into an official docket. Any personal information included in your comment and/or uploaded attachment(s) may be publicly viewable on the web. I read and understand the statement above. “
Click the box, then click “submit comment” under it.
6- They will give you a “receipt” with your comment number on it and ask if you want them to send it to you. I you want it, you will need t put in your email address in the box provided.
That’s it. You’re done!!
By Fax or Mail:
From the USDA.gov site:
“Alternate Ways to Comment
Interested persons are invited to submit written comments concerning this proposed rule…Comments may also be filed with the Docket Clerk, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Room 4543- South, Washington, DC 20250; Fax: (202) 690-0338. All comments should reference the docket number and the date and page number of this issue of the Federal Register and will be available for public inspection in Room 4543-South, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20250 during regular business hours, or can be viewed at: www.regulations.gov.”
Document Information asked for above:
Date Posted:May 4, 2018
Federal Register Number:2018-09389
Docket ID: AMS-TM-17-0050Agency: Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS)Parent Agency: Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Tips from the government for submitting Effective Comments:
Suggested USDA proposals to focus on
(pick your most important few or whatever you want but you don’t have to address all of them. Please talk about them in your own words, why you want them changed and how it impacts you and those you know).
They are proposing:
- Optional QR codes or text messages instead of label- They added the option of “texting” and getting a reply text but also still offer the QR code option instead of labels
- Definition- They do not want to include the new technologies in the definition (gene editing, CRISPR,TALENS, etc). They only want to include transgenic techniques. Probably the most important part in this proposal as it sets the stage for the future.
- Threshold- .9% ( EU and NonGMO Project standard)?? 5%?? or 10%?? are their proposals
- Symbol- smiley faces that say “BE”
- Weak enforcement of standards
- Cannot call it GMO, must be called “bioengineered”
- Highly processed foods such as oils, sugars, syrups be exempt
Please do take a few minutes for this last effort to make our voices heard. We’ve come so far and there is enough indication that they are not finalized on much of anything so if we join together, we may just end up with much of what we have wanted and worked so hard for. Thanks for all you do for the future of our food system.