FDA Proposed Change in Food Labels is Nothing But Smoke and Mirrors


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The FDA announced that they came up with a new and improved idea to help consumers decide what foods are best for them.  The major changes will be a bigger font to help consumers read the label and includes any “added sugars” to the ingredients list.  Are they serious? Is this the best they can come up with? They want the font type bigger so we don’t have to take out our reading glasses to read what’s inside the package? That’s the big change? What about the ingredients food manufacturers are fighting tooth and nail to NOT have listed on their labels?

President Obama said in his stump speech that he PROMISED to get genetically modified foods labeled; so what is the first thing he did after he was re-elected? He appointed Michael Taylor,   former Vice President for Public Policy at Monsanto Corporation from 1998 until 2001, to head the FDA, the very organization which is supposed to make sure the food we eat is safe.  You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that Taylor is not about to do anything that could compromise Monsanto’s bottom line and that includes not labeling foods that are genetically modified (GMO).

Changing the font and telling me there is more sugar than I already thought does not tell me if the added sugars come from sugar beets which are GMO.

The chemical industry doesn’t want the same thing happening to them as the tobacco companies. As soon as the cigarettes came with health warnings, the sales of tobacco went down. Monsanto and other chemical companies have zero interest in losing revenue because of an educated consumer. If the food manufacturers had their way, the ingredients would say, “None of your business.”

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) fought hard and spent millions of dollars to defeat labeling initiatives in California and Washington.  Their mantra was, “Food prices will skyrocket if foods have to be labeled GMO.” “It will cost consumers a lot more if the packaging has to be changed.” Never mind the fact that food manufacturers change packaging when it suits them. They do it all the time. There is big money to be made keeping the average customer in the dark as to what they are really eating.

The USDA finally admitted that GMOs are not doing what they claimed they would.

“As of September 2013, about 7,800 releases were approved for GE corn, more than 2,200 for GE soybeans, more than 1,100 GE cotton and about 900for GE potatoes,” the USDA said.

The report also states that about 93 percent of the soybean crops planted involved GMO, herbicide-tolerant (HT) variants, according to RT. The report added that HT corn and HT cotton made up almost 85 and 82 percent of total acreage, respectively.

The report stated that while use of insecticide in crops has decreased, the use of herbicide is increasing, GMANetwork reported. Use of herbicide on GMO crops grew from about 1.5 pounds per planted acre in 2001 to over 2.0 pounds per planted acre in 2010.

The whole sales pitch to get farmers to buy GMO seeds in the first place was to decrease their use of pesticides.  Farmers are now reporting the growth of super weeds. These weeds are resistant to Roundup (glyphosate), which is used in conjunction with GMO seeds. Nearly half of  all U.S. farms have superweeds.  What is Monsanto’s advice to farmers facing this new generation of weeds? ”Pull the weeds by hand,” that is until the USDA approves more deadly, toxic chemicals to deal with the problem.

 

Have you seen the new commercial for “I can’t believe it’s not Butter?” The sales pitch is that all the ingredients in their “fake butter” can now be pronounced. No chemicals in their product. Really? What about the canola oil?  The cottonseed oil? The soy? What about the high fructose corn syrup? Are they made from GMOs? How do we know for sure? We don’t. Because,  Becel/Flora/Promise, which is a subsidiary of Unilever, doesn’t have to disclose it. And they don’t plan to if they have any say in the matter. My guess is that most of the ingredients comes from genetically modified food sources because 80% of these foods grown in the U.S. and Canada are GMO.

Subway Sandwiches was just in the spotlight for using the chemical, Azodicarbonamide in their bread dough. This particular ingredient is also used to make yoga mats and the soles of shoes.  Subway isn’t the only one using it (although they claim they will stop after they got media attention), McDonald’s, Burger King, Chick-fil-A, Wendy’s, Arby’s and Jack in the Box use it in their bread dough.  It’s in the bread you find sitting on your grocery store shelves.  The FDA thinks it’s perfectly safe for us to eat. The chemical is banned in Europe and Australia.  I think anything used to make yoga mats has no business being in food I might eat. I don’t care what the FDA says.

Here is a list of food companies that also use Azodicarbonamide:

  • Sun-Maid
  • Pillsbury
  • Little Debbie
  • Nature’s Own
  • Sarah Lee
  • Sunbeam
  • Smucker’s

Last week the GMA held a secret meeting in Dana Point to discuss “litigation” matters.  The list of attendees are the same food companies that spent millions of dollars to defeat the labeling initiatives.

Do you think they discussed more ways to deceive the public and how to squash any attempts by government who force food companies to disclose what is hiding in our food?  These food companies have a proven track record when it comes to “false advertising.”

The GMA sent a letter to Elizabeth H. Dickerson, Esq., Chief Counsel for the USDA in December 2013, alerting her that they will file a petition with the FDA this year, requesting GMO foods the right to call themselves “natural.”  One of the claims they made is this, “… The GMA helps it’s members produce safe products through a strong commitment to scientific research and testing … and providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

How can they write this load of crap with a straight face?  They refuse to label the food! If we are really a free market, then the basis of such a market requires that consumers be given all correct and honest information, so they can make an informed purchase.

The letter included a couple recent lawsuits, including Barnes vs. Campbell Soup that is still in litigation. The lawsuits center around foods labeled as natural when some of the ingredients come from GMOs.

This is how the FDA website defines the term natural:

From a food science perspective, it is difficult to define a food product that is ‘natural’ because the food has probably been processed and is no longer the product of the earth. That said, FDA has not developed a definition for use of the term natural or its derivatives. However, the agency has not objected to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

My question to the GMA is, if GMOs are natural, why do these companies claim patent infringement if anyone tries to test their safety? Since when do natural foods need to be patented? Why do they prefer to spend millions of dollars to hide the fact that GMOs are in their foods when it would have been much cheaper to label the foods accordingly and not create public distrust? Why did our President go back on his word to label GMOs?  Obama broke another promise he made when he was running for re-election; he would put an end to “revolving door” politics.  Appointing Taylor to head the FDA exemplifies the revolving door between the food industry and the government agencies that regulate it.  As long as Taylor runs the FDA we can be assured that the interests of corporations and chemical companies will be put ahead of public health.

 

SOURCES:

http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm387114.htm

http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfCFR/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=172.806

http://www.franchiseherald.com/articles/5053/20140228/usda-reports-environmental-risks-gmo-crops.htm

http://www.motherjones.com/tom-philpott/2013/02/report-spread-monsantos-superweeds-speeds-12-0

https://www.yahoo.com/food/yoga-mat-chemical-found-in-way-more-food-products-than-77969476828.html

http://www.gmaonline.org/forms/meeting/Microsite/Litigation2014,0

http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/files/2013_1205_gma_letter_to_fda_81204.pdf

http://dockets.justia.com/docket/california/candce/3:2012cv05185/259630

http://www.fda.gov/aboutfda/transparency/basics/ucm214868.htm


About Inge

Cancer survivor. Healthy organic food coach. Public speaker. If you have a story you want told, contact me at iscott.orangejuiceblog@gmail.com/