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Just label it with a YUCK FACE

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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are in foods everywhere, but you would never know it because there are no labeling requirements for manufacturers stating that they must let consumers know what is really in the food they are eating.

California recently tried to pass a law that would require GMO foods to be labeled, and Washington state is currently trying to pass Initiative 522. California’s Prop 37 was defeated as a result of a last minute propaganda push by food giant Monsanto and other large food manufacturers.

I find it ridiculous that we require food manufacturers to PAY to disclose clean ingredients, i.e. Certified Organic, Non-GMO, Gluten Free, Kosher, etc. THIS is what is causing our food prices to rise:  not requiring labeling for GMO foods. The only price increase for manufacturers would be a change in the packaging, which is minimal compared to the annual fees clean food producers have to pay to get certifications.

I’m proposing a couple of easy changes in the food-manufacturing world that would help reduce the cost of clean foods for everybody.

  1. Stop requiring food manufacturers to pay to make the organic claim. Notice I didn’t say stop charging the farmers to get their certification. There does have to be some checks in place to ensure the product is clean, but if a food manufacturer buying ingredients from organic farmers wants to make the organic claim on the package, they should be able to without paying to do so.
  2. Start requiring manufacturers using GMOs in their foods to use one of the following icons on the package, so consumers know what they are really getting
    Yuck Face - GM

    The poison control yuck face….this should be required on all products containing GMO’s.

    Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 9.22.18 AM

    An alternative GMO labeling requirement…the skull and crossbones.

The new awareness would help drive an increase in the demand for clean food, thus driving down the overall cost to consumers. It’s simple economies of scale.

The reason why there is so much push back from major food manufacturers is they don’t have a large line of organic products in their mix. They are afraid of losing busin ess to smaller companies that provide clean foods.

I will say this, though… these changes and requirements can’t be made overnight. Whole Foods is requiring the labeling of GMOs in all foods on their shelf by 2018. They reason they gave a deadline so far in the future was to give vendors/manufacturers time to source non-GMO ingredients and to make the appropriate changes, so they aren’t required to get the mark of death on their product (via a shelf tag).

Considering there is a lack of organic farming, there would have to be a reasonable timeline given so farmers could make the transition to organic to meet the new demand. It’s a needed change. It just won’t be made overnight.

I’m constantly frustrated as a food manufacturer that we are being penalized for providing clean, organic, non-GMO products to the market, and yet companies that are poisoning us are going unchecked and un-penalized. It’s high time we make a change, before we all get cancer and die from the food we are eating.