Why Ben and Jerry’s, Non-GMO project, others oppose SAFE Act

| | September 14, 2015
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From my perspective, HR1599 is comprehensive: it establishes a clear definition for a GMO, it doesn’t violate the first amendment, it forces companies to label GMOs when needed, it creates a federal registry, and creates a new federal label for non-GMO with very stringent/exclusive definitions.

I find it interesting that most groups that are denouncing HR1599 embrace the Non-GMO Project’s certification, when both have the same process-based definition for a GMO. The difference is that the former provides a voluntary label for items that don’t have GMOs, whereas the end goal of the latter is the labeling of everything that has a GMO.So why the backlash? Why the outcry?

Consider Ben and Jerry’s, a company that opposes HR1599 and supported VT’s GMO labeling law, for example. Ben and Jerry’s failed to mention that under HR1599, they would not be able to claim that they’re GMO-free because the cows producing the milk used in their ice-cream may be fed GM feed.

Related article:  Non-GMO Project: USDA's labeling proposal makes us 'more relevant than ever'

So Ben and Jerry’s supports a state law where it can claim that it’s products are GMO-free, but rejects a more stringent definition for GMOs at a Federal level. In my opinion, it’s because it would be expensive to change their supply chain to comply with the Federal definition of GMO-free.

Why are other organizations opposing the SAFE Act?

The Just Label It campaign is funded by companies that clearly benefit from forced GMO-labeling: the companies that fund the campaign include a long list of organic food companies/manufacturers.

As for the Non-GMO project, HR1599 make the organization’s certification useless, and all the labs that are used by the Non-GMO Project for certification would have to seek business elsewhere or seek federal contracts.

Read full, original post: Is HR 1599 the SAFE Act or the DARK Act?

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