Food products should not be labeled as “non-GMO” if there is no GMO counterpart for that product.
That was the measure approved by delegates at the annual American Farm Bureau Federation convention this month. Measures approved by the nation’s largest farming organization ranged across a series of topics important to agriculture, from crop insurance to trade to immigration. The measures taken up at the national convention start at the county level before being approved at the state level.
In 2018, the delegates decided to support a measure limiting which products can utilize the non-GMO status. Unfortunately, we see non-GMO labels on all sorts of products that have no GMO alternative. For example, Hunt’s boasts that all of its tomatoes are non-GMO, but there are no genetically modified tomatoes commercially available. By default, all tomatoes are non-GMO. The measure would prohibit Hunt’s from using the non-GMO label for its products.
Canada already has a law prohibiting the use of a non-GMO label if there are no GMO alternatives. Apparently, the law is rarely, if ever, enforced.
I’m so happy to see this resolution reach the national stage. In fact, I dedicated my first AGDAILY article to this very idea so many moons ago. Slapping a non-GMO label on every single product in the grocery store is confusing for consumers, demonizes a safe and important technology, and is extremely misleading. It needs to stop.
Seriously, when we have cat litter that boasts a non-GMO label, we have gone way too far.
Now, passage of the measure does not mean that it will become law (you know, Congress…), but it does mean the issue is gaining traction. It means that it becomes part of the AFBF platform. It means people can legitimately talk about it as a possibility. It means we could actually have clarity on labeling. It means the option is on the table.
It means we’re a little bit closer to the happy day when such a measure is actually passed.
You can find more of the measures passed at the AFBF convention on AGDAILY.