Letter: Elitist GMO bill earns Obama's veto


To the editor:

In July, both chambers of the U.S. Congress passed a bill (S.764) to label foods containing GMO ingredients. The bill allows companies to use QR (quick response) codes instead of clear, visible words on the package.

For a busy parent with kids in tow, scanning QR codes in a supermarket aisle to determine if a product contains GMO ingredients is near impossible. And that's exactly what the U.S. Congress and Monsanto intended.

In reality, this bill is essentially a non-labeling bill. It makes it very difficult for consumers to get GMO information about a product and to make informed decisions about the food they are purchasing and feeding to their families.

If GMO foods were as safe as the biotech and junk food industries want us to believe, food manufacturers would want to tout their products rather than hide the fact that a product contains GMOs behind a QR code.

Hiding product information behind a QR code discriminates against low income families, minorities, mothers, seniors, rural citizens, the disabled and those without smartphones. All Americans should have the opportunity to know what they are buying, not just the privileged.

Only 21 percent of Americans surveyed have scanned QR codes. Just 27 percent of seniors and 50 percent of low income Americans own smartphones. Most people know someone who doesn't own a smartphone or owns one but has not scanned a QR code. This bill is obviously elitist.

The bill is now on President Obama's desk for his signature or veto. Please call the president's comment line (202-456-1111) and ask him to veto this highly discriminatory bill.

Ed Stockman, Plainfield



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