Apparently we can have labels on our food. In fact, we already do. A great variety of them, in fact.
Apparently those labels can have lots and lots of words on them. Words like “quality” and “all natural” which don’t really mean anything in a legal sense as defined by the Food and Drug Administration. Apparently those words can be comprised of the 26 letters of our standard English alphabet. Apparently those letters can include “G,” “M,” and even “O”.
However, according to the giant lobbying group Grocery Manufacturer Association, for some reason it’ll cost a whopping $10 million dollars a day in fines if those letters are put together on a label in that order to alert customers to the fact that they might be buying and eating a genetically modified organism.
Via the Rutland Herald:
The letter to Gov. Peter Shumlin from the head of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, dated Wednesday, said companies could be fined up to $1,000 a day per unlabeled item — a can of soup or a box of cereal, for instance — that mistakenly ends up on store shelves. The law is due to take effect next year.
“Even with the best of intentions, excellent supply chain logistics and herculean efforts, product will be in the wrong place at any given time, resulting in millions upon millions of dollars in potential fines,” said GMA President Pamela G. Bailey.
She estimated more than 100,000 items sold in the state would require Vermont-specific labels, a companies could quickly amass millions in fines if only 5 to 10 percent of products slip through.
“Vermont-specific labels,” huh? Because only Vermont has the gumption to finally force companies to do what they should have been doing this entire time anyway and tell us just what in the hell we’re actually eating when we buy their products?
Of course, somehow magically the same multinational corporations represented by the GMA who just can’t seem to figure out how to print the letters “GMO” on their American food packaging seem to have no problem whatsoever doing it in the other 64 countries that require it all over the globe such as, for example, in the EU where you can find foods with informative labels like this one:
Spelling aside, at least people are given a pretty big clue if their food is genetically modified or not.
But the best part of this story was the basic-common-sense-that-even-most-small-children-have level of Governor Shumlin’s response to Ms. Bailey:
“Just label your products. All of them nationwide.”
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