Dr Oz: The Fight For GMO Labeling
Dr Oz reported that the house of representatives passed the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 which specifically forbids states to pass laws to label GMO foods. Critics call it the “DARK Act” which stands for “deny Americans the right to know.” A Consumer Reports poll actually found that 92% of consumers favor GMO labeling.
Dr Oz then turned to his audience to discuss GMO labeling and the DARK Act. One woman shared that she recently went on a supermarket tour with a nutritionist and found that anything that was labeled GMO-free, wasn’t at eye-level. Dr Oz then spoke to a woman who said she thought the GMO labeling helps people to understand what they’re putting in their bodies. Dr Oz then responded by asking, if GMO foods aren’t necessarily unhealthy, should they still be labeled?
Dr Oz: Labeling GMO Foods
Dr Oz’s audience members recognized that it’s all about knowing what you’re putting in your body. Dr Oz sent Elisabeth Leamy to find out more about the act and the fight over GMO labeling. The legislation was introduced by Kansas congressman Mike Pompeo in March of 2015. The law allows food to be voluntarily labeled as GMO, but not required. It also allows food labeled as “natural” to contain genetically modified ingredients. Even more, the federal law would preempt state laws that require labeling of GMO’s. The bill passed in July by a vote of 275 to 150.
Dr Oz: Why GMOs Can Be Dangerous
Dr Oz further explained that crops like corn have been genetically engineered to survive chemical sprays like those found in the herbicide glyphosate, a chemical found in RoundUp, which kills weeds and makes it easier for crops to grow. Over time, the herbicides stop killing the weeds which means new GMO crops need to be designed to withstand even more powerful herbicides. That same cycle continues. Dr Oz explained that the GMO in crops themselves isn’t exactly what he’s worried about, but instead it’s the herbicides that can change our hormones and our environment.
Dr Oz: The Right To Know What’s In Your Food
Dr Oz then welcomed Scott Faber from the Environmental Working Group, who explained that consumers in 64 countries, have the right to know what’s in their food, but yet we don’t here. He also shared that big biotech companies spend $50 million in the first 6 months of 2015 alone, to lobby congress. Scott said the fight is about transparency not technology. In the United States, GMOs are in nearly 50% of processed food.
Dr Oz: Support The GMO Labeling Movement
Dr Oz explained that he tried to reach out to the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, the Biotechnology Industry Organization, and representatives from Mike Pompeo’s office, but they all declined to come on. They all provided statements, however, one of which was from the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association, who said “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act is a reasonable bill that sets a national science-based labeling standard that prevents confusion and provides certainty for consumers in food labeling.”
Dr Oz explained that in Argentina, they just passed a GMO labeling law and it didn’t hurt the companies. In the meantime, you can go to JustLabelIt.org and add your name to the list to fight for the right to know.
Dr Oz: What Companies Are GMO-Free?
Dr Oz then shared that there are actually a lot of companies who have gone GMO free. After Chipotle went GMO-free, dozens of companies followed in their footsteps, to help their consumers know exactly what they were getting. General Mills, in 2013, announced its decision to remove GMOs from Cheerios. After that, Post announced their non-GMO Grape Nuts cereal. Ben and Jerry’s is now making all 50 of their flavors with non-GMO ingredients. Even Target has started selling their own GMO-free food products.
Dr Oz welcomed Sam Talbot, a chef, who explained that as a chef, he has a responsibility. He’s a type-1 diabetic and he trusts that he’ll get the information he needs to get better, and a lot of that responsibility transfers to his job. He said accountability and trace-ability is incredibly important.
Nicky Bronner is just 18-years-old, but is the co-founder of Unreal. He explained that five years ago, after trick-or-treating, he did some research to find out why the candies he got were so bad for him. What he learned led him to start his company, to show that they can remake America’s favorite foods, like chocolate candies, and making them without chemicals, preservatives, and a lot of the additives.
What do you think about the GMO labeling war? Where do you stand?