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Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Brief the Mayor Alonda, Renee, & Elaine.

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Presentation on theme: "Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Brief the Mayor Alonda, Renee, & Elaine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Brief the Mayor Alonda, Renee, & Elaine

2 Facts Currently commercialized GM crops in the U.S. include soy (94%), cotton (90%), canola (90%), sugar beets (95%), corn (88%), Hawaiian papaya (more than 50%), zucchini and yellow squash (over 24,000 acres). The American Academy of Environmental Medicine this year said that genetically modified foods are causally linked to accelerated aging, dysfunctional immune regulation, organ damage, gastrointestinal distress, and immune system damage. A study came out by the Union of Concerned Scientists confirming that genetically modified crops, on average, reduce yield.

3 The Issue Farmers & Agribusiness concerned over pests, droughts, increase in population. Government, in conjunction with Biotechnology, began modifying seeds to address climate issues, pests, and to increase crop yield. The premise was that by creating a “genetically modified organism” and developing new strains of corn, wheat, soy, and beets that the issues would be resolved. They failed to take into account the safety and possible reactions humans would have ingesting these new food items.

4 The Response Scientists and doctors reported an increase in levels of diabetes, cancers, inflammatory disorders, gastric (stomach) disease, and mental health issues since GMOs were introduced in the U.S. food stream in the 1990s. Consumers are concerned over what goes in food and want this regulated. Agribusiness does not want to label food products with GMOs in fear of profit loss. DARK Act (Deny Americans the Right to Know) developed to combat consumer right to know. Recently changed to the SAFL Act.

5 Elevator Speech The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 is a bill that was proposed to the federal government by Republican Mike Pompeo. This bill states that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will review the safety of all food that is genetically modified before it enters into the marketplace. The Center for Food Safety petitioned the FDA on behalf of over 650 companies and organizations to require labeling on all GMO products, in 2011. There are currently 55 members of Congress and over 1 million people who support the petition, but the FDA has not taken any action on the petition.

6 Interested Parties Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) has opposed allowing the states to create their own labeling laws. BIO states that this would put different requirements on the farmers and food companies, which will create higher prices that will be passed to the consumers. This puts the government in control of mandates for food labeling. Who runs the FDA? Who runs BIO? Who profits?

7 The Opposition Polls: 90% of Americans want labeling of genetically engineered products. GMO labeling has wide bipartisan support 89% Republicans, 90% Independents, and 93% of Democrats are in support of passing the bill to label GMOs. 64 countries require GMO labeling, such as: Europe, China, and South Africa.

8 Elevator Speech Local Support: Currently no legislation in Virginia for the GMO labeling Hawaii Senate Bill 2521: Introduced January of 2014 February the bill passed the first committee Bill 2521 will require the labeling of raw agricultural, seed stock, and processed foods to be labeled if they contain any GMO’s California Senate Bill 1381: Introduced February 2014 Bill 1381 states that GMO’s will be clearly labeled in easy to understand language on the front or the back of the package Bill 1381 is still pending.

9 Why is this Bill/Policy Important? Understanding nutrition and food from social constructionist lens demonstrates relationship between food, social class, and social differences. Who makes the food has the power and money. GMOs are linked with an increase in medical issues since introduction in the U.S. food stream in 1990. – Issues include: gastrointestinal disorders, inflammation, allergies, cancers. – Studies indicate changes in plant breeding techniques have created new varieties of plants that are “alien” to human beings and do not occur naturally.

10 Why is this Bill/Policy Important? Supporters of the act state that use of GMOs: – Increase crop yields – Decrease food insecurity – Provide sustainability for the growing global population

11 Why is this Bill/Policy important? Those who oppose the act claim that: o Food deserts impact nearly 109 million households in the U.S. o Families still cannot afford to purchase adequate food. o Use of GMOs leads to poor health and increased utilization of government services such as Medicaid. o Should be consumer choice to decide what foods to purchase. o GMOs have not solved any issues surrounding food and the growing population. o GMO crops lead to increased pollution…climate changes….animal cruelty…poor soil conditions.

12 Specifics of the Safe and Accurate Labeling Act Allows the FDA to define “natural”. Allows the government to determine what products are labeled as GMO States that Americans do not want to know what is in their food and the government should make those decisions. Removes state powers to mandate GMO labeling Streamlines the approval process for new GMO products.

13 Existing Resources Grassroots organizations Non-GMO Project Organic Consumers Association Government agencies Food and Drug Administration U.S. Department of Agriculture

14 Stakeholders The American Consumer Consumer Advocacy Agencies

15 Conclusion The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 is led by a bipartisan group of legislators. Many believe that the passing of this legislation will create confusion to the consumer who will not purchase any foods that containing GMOs. There are stakeholders on both sides of the legislation and both are fighting for their right to provide safe products to the consumers. Currently most of the action for this legislation has been on the state levels, until recently when Senator Pompeo submitted a claim to the federal courts requesting that the FDA manage the labeling of GMOs. There are only two states that have passed GMO labeling laws and many states are still waiting for the results.

16 Resources Non-government Resources: NON GMO Project Institute For Responsible Technology Government Resources: HR. 4432 Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act 2014 Center for Food Safety

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