Friday, April 8, 2016

Voluntary Labeling Spreads- Time to Move Goalpost

As I mentioned last month, several food companies are using the Vermont language on their food labels nationally, and doing so voluntarily.  This is perfect for the people that demand a "right to know" despite the fact it does not tell them much.  

Campbell's and others are brilliant for making the voluntary change, and doing it in accordance with Vermont's rules.  You want to know?  Here you go! 

Smucker's is not made with GE ingredients, but there are potentially traces of something in there... Corn?  Cottonseed oil?  Their voluntary statement is a C.Y.A. so they can sell in VT.  

The voluntary labels provide the information that activists wanted-- anyone wanting to know if there is an ingredient present through genetic engineering can see that.  

Here's the problem for them:

If every product is voluntarily labeled, then why do we need state laws to force products to be labeled?  After all, you wanted a right to know, and know you know. 

As I've said from the beginning, it is not about a right to know.  It is about causing hardship to farmers that choose to grow these products and orchestrating scarcity of the products in a de facto ban.  

Watch for more voluntary labels as July 2016 approaches.  You'll see labeling reflect Vermont's demands, and nobody will really care.  If everyone labels voluntarily in other states, then legislation is not necessary, defeat the plan of a patchwork of state-by-state rules, definitions and exemptions.  

Then watch that goalpost move!