Some consumers win one

Kimmsr(4a/5b-MI)April 18, 2014

Vermont passed a law that will require labeling of foods that contain Genetically Modified Organisms.

Here is a link that might be useful: Some consumers win one

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This part in your link is a laugh...

"The OCA (Organic Consumers Association) has worked closely over the past several years with the pro-labeling grassroots movement in Vermont."

None of the activists involved in the movement in VT that I know of had a single bit of help from them...neither money or personnel help...aside from them piggy backing on their cause on their website with some promotion...and I know of a few people doing a lot of the heavy lifting there on this issue (even if we don't see eye-to-eye on some of the issues beyond labeling...which I, personally, don't have an issue with).

The amount of actual on-the-ground "activism" the OCA does in order to keep herbal supplements unregulated and unchecked is quite visible, though. To the OCA, proven purity and consumer confidence in quality of herbal substances is worth fighting -against- for some reason. They want regulations and laws for some things (GMOs for a start, but not the end), but you better not lay a hand on unregulated herbal supplements (even if they're not sourced organically).

They still have this stance even after many scathing reports (such as the somewhat recent BMC/NYTimes report) that many herbal supplements contain wildly fluctuating levels of the supplement vs what was stated, contain NONE of the supplement at all, or contain something entirely different than what is stated on the label which could actually be harmful (especially allergens).

This is an industry that US consumers pour $5billion a year into that's proven itself to be incapable of self-regulation, yet the OCA fights like hell against any regulation...while demonizing industries which must go through years of regulatory hurdles for their products.

Sorry to flip this on an OCA rant, but that part of the linked article just got to me...I have a special hatred for how the OCA treats their activist base. The fact they want to step in and take a chunk of the credit for this on the national level is a bit of a jerk move. Aside from this issue and their anti-regulation of the supplement industry stance (while demanding regulation elsewhere), they really screwed up the 2,4-D/GMO thing with their piss-poor feeding of "2,4-D = Agent Orange" b/s campaign where they chose to scare an activist base into reaction rather than arming the activist base with useful information.

The OCA's headmaster and ringleader, Ronnie Cummins, knows about as much as agriculture as he does about nuclear engineering or labor relations (his activist hobbies before he decided to get upset about the food industry). It doesn't keep him from jet setting from Mexico (where the OCA is actually located) to his lake house in Minnesota on Lake Superior depending on whim or weather, though.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 5:52

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 5:14AM
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"VermontâÂÂs landmark victory today will force food companies to either label GMOs in all states, or reformulate their products to be GMO-free in order to avoid stating âÂÂthis product was produced using genetic engineeringâ on their packaging."

There are only 625,000+ people living in Vermont. It might not be worth the cost of labelling foods for that small a market. Dropping them from the shipping schedule could be easier and cheaper.

This could be interesting.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 5:53AM
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A lot will depend on how the eventual court battles (there will be court battles) play out. The Senate version of the approval of the labeling includes funding for court costs to battle the inevitable court battles...which the House will have to approve and why it's going back there...which they most likely will.

The OCA is living in a dream world with the statement "VermontâÂÂs landmark victory today will force food companies to either label GMOs in all states"'s going to take way more than that. They know this, too...or at least they should. Vermont is too small to push a change that big.

This will place a bigger burden on smaller manufacturers who are regional rather than nationally distributed manufacturers...of which this will be more of a pain in the ass rather than a huge distribution cost hurdle for the big companies/corporations. Cigarette companies are already well versed in this particular issue, for instance...and it doesn't hurt their distribution based upon labeling in different states.

What's really important for the labeling movement is the adoption of labeling by either a large amount of small states in a region or one really large state...something that would force the cost of labeling in a "might as well do the whole region" area. That's why Cali was so important. Labeling in Cali would have probably, by economic cost decision, given WA/OR/NV/AZ/etc labeling because CA is such a huge regional population.

It's interesting this release came from Finland, Minn...that means Ronnie Cummins (head of OCA) is probably back at his summer home on Lake Michigan (unless someone else is manning that activity our of Finland, Minn). Cummings spends a lot of his winters at his other property in Mexico avoiding the harsh winters of Minn. Ah, the life of a professional activist who's corporate interests pay his bills. He knows as much about agriculture as he does about his past professional activism roles in anti-nuclear and labor relation activism roles. Heck, the OCA is an offshoot of his anti-meat-eating âÂÂBeyond Beefâ campaign...which led to his âÂÂPure Foodâ campaign...which is now the OCA. He's been something different in an activist realm every decade for as long as he can tap into and keep his hype-of-moment machine going.

If OCA didn't treat their activist base like stupid drones and take credit for other people's work I wouldn't be as hard on them. They pass up too many opportunities to educate in exchange for an opportunity to mobilize sheer numbers at the expense of's all quite self-serving and destructive in a gamble for a full-frontal attack by force of numbers. When the gamble loses, the activist base loses when they come away from a battle armed with crap information they try to carry into further battles.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Sat, Apr 19, 14 at 6:46

    Bookmark   April 19, 2014 at 6:11AM
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I read the bill - as passed by their house - and their are loopholes in it.

1 - animal feed
2 - restaurant food
3 - some beverages (they referred to another section)

And best of all, the Sergeant Schultz "I see nothing, I know nothing" ... if you didn't know they were there it's not a violation.

And there is no state-approved testing provider yet ... and I couldn't find any penalties (I may have overlooked it, because NH's bills have a different format then AZ's).

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 10:19AM
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Could someone explain to me why we're forcing companies to label something when that something is regarded by the FDA as safe? And how this is a "victory"?

We don't label foods grown with cow poo because it's generally regarded as safe. We shouldn't be forcing companies to label GMOs with literally no evidence that there's anything unsafe about them.

Fear wins again I guess.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2014 at 3:54PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

"...when that something is regarded by the FDA as safe?"

LOL Joppa, that's rich!

The Monsanto infested USDA & FDA is hardly an unbiased sanctioning body.

Read the bio of our "Food Czar" Michael Taylor to see how the tentacles operate.

Then don't let ignorance win again.


    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 3:35AM
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Ok, if the FDA is so biased, how about you post some studies from some independant scientific bodies showing that GMO foods are dangerous?

Oh, that's right. They don't exist. Probably the aliens keeping them from happening, right?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:29AM
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Michael Taylor is one of almost a dozen deputy commisioners for the FDA. He far from "runs things" and he's implemented many measures during his career with the USDA and FDA that the industry doesn't like.

People want to focus on his time at the USDA with rBST (of which is role is commonly blown out of proportion of his actual influence + control), but those same people seem to never want to mention Taylor's enhanced implementation (over very heavy industry protest) of HACCP as well as his longtime support of better record keeping, food recall authority, and penalty systems with both the USDA and FDA.

The same people that complain about M.Taylor being a deputy chief...and are willing to toss an entire organization's credibility aside because of it...are generally not listened to as a serious side of activism even if some of the more serious sides of activism use this kind of crap activism to enhance outrage in their base.

This post was edited by nc-crn on Tue, Apr 29, 14 at 18:32

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 4:49PM
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