The SAFE Act (Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015), which sounds like it would guarantee our right to know what’s in our food, is in fact likely to guarantee that will never happen.
So, the SAFE Act sounds great on paper – having GMO-containing foods accurately labeled is what most Americans want. However, SAFE would make it illegal for states to enact their own laws regarding mandatory GMO labeling and would instead implement a voluntary program – which basically eliminates any chance of us ever knowing what’s in our food and undermines many state efforts. It’s important to note that food and biotech industry giants are backing the act, which clues us in to what it would actually accomplish.
In most of the world, doors are closing on GMO foods for the time being, as they follow the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The principle calls for high levels of precaution in regard to new technology to avoid harmful unknown consequences, like those of DDT, just one of many instances of “industry-proven safety” that turned out to be quite lethal.
A researcher at Tufts University, Sheldon Krimsky, has examined numerous studies on GMOs. Despite claims of consensus, his research suggests that there really isn’t one. Though Big Biotech will call out dissenting opinions for being anti-science, Krimsky says, “When there is a controversy about the risk of a consumer product, instead of denying the existence of certain studies, the negative results should be replicated to see if they hold up to rigorous testing.”
It’s unfortunate that the industry isn’t one to acknowledge any information that they haven’t produced themselves.