Put on your food detective hat! We need your help to inspire our next GMO labeling campaign and ensure our Right to Know what's in our food.
The new genetically engineered (GE or GMO) labeling regulations finalized by the Trump administration's Department of Agriculture (USDA) went into effect on January 1st. These regulations are a cynical hide and seek game played against the American public.
Instead of informing us about the GMO ingredients in our foods, these regulations are designed to help companies hide the GMO content in their products:
• The labeling rules hide GMOs behind a new term, "Bioengineered" (BE). So we need to educate ourselves and our communities that when "Bioengineered" or "BE" is used on a label, that means genetic engineering.
• The regulations do not even require on-package "BE" labels for any genetically engineered product. Instead, the regulations allow companies to hide their GMO content behind QR codes, 800 numbers, or texting. Not only is directing consumers to scan these digital codes or call an 800 number an onerous and completely unacceptable burden on the public (especially during the ongoing pandemic), it is also illegally discriminatory. Almost one-quarter of Americans, mostly low income and elderly populations, do not have a smartphone, and millions more live in areas with poor or no cell service.
Center for Food Safety is suing USDA to have these irresponsible regulations rescinded, but as that suit goes through the courts, we need all hands on deck to expose the companies hiding GMOs behind QR codes or 800 numbers. Here's how you can take action using Twitter or email:
1) When you see a QR code on a food product without a "bioengineered" label present, snap a picture. Suspicious products include those containing corn, soy, canola, potato, sugarbeets, or apple slices.
2) Add the photo to a tweet.
3) Include the hashtag #QRscam.
4) Tag our Twitter account, @CFSTrueFood, so that we can add it to our database.
5) Tag the company that makes the products so that they can see how much non-discriminatory, on-package labeling means to you.
If you don't have Twitter, please email us the photo and product information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are fighting the regulations in court—but we need your help to determine which companies to target for our next corporate campaign urging food brands to switch from QR codes to on-package GMO labels that everyone can access.
Your photos will help keep all consumers informed on what's in our food! And your work as a citizen detective might inspire companies to get these labels where everyone can see them: on the package!