The article below indicates to me that “voluntary” labeling of GMO content or lack of such is (as we thought) completely pointless. The fact is that the powers that be don’t believe we have the right to know what is in the food we put in our mouths, or the mouths of our children. It is apparent that the “guerilla labeling” method is the only way to get more people aware of what they are buying for dinner. So let’s do it! If someone is good at making label templates, let’s get them shared all around and whenever we go to a grocery store put 10 labels on boxes of things the GMO shopping guide indicates contain GMO’s. A little effort multiplied can awaken millions. If they won’t let people know, then it’s our duty to let others know. Your thoughts are welcome:
Kevin Cox and Ingrid Peritz
Loblaws, Canada’s largest grocery retailer, has ordered its suppliers to remove or cover by Sept. 1 any labels that identify food as being free of genetically modified ingredients.
The move has angered many of the organic food processors that market their breakfast cereals, pastas and other products in the store’s health food department as being free of chemical additives and genetically modified material.
Nature’s Path Foods Inc., a British-Columbia-based company that produces organic breakfast cereals, said some Canadian grocery chains pressed the company to alter the labels on its products.
The section of the label that says the products are made without genetically modified organisms has been blacked out with a felt pen.
Spokesman Arran Stephens said some large grocery chains warned the company that its products would be yanked from shelves if it didn’t remove the reference to genetically modified organisms.
“We’ve sort of been bullied into this. We feel it’s very important that consumers know if their food has been genetically tampered,” Mr. Stephens said, but the company didn’t want to risk cutting production and laying off employees.
Mr. Stephens noted that independent food stores and grocery chains in the United States welcome the GMO-free labels.
Many suppliers are afraid to criticize the grocery chain publicly because they fear losing shelf space.
But they say privately that they are facing major expense to change labels and could lose sales because consumers won’t be able to tell if they are getting non-GMO foods.
In a memo sent to suppliers in late January, Jamie Cooney, director of procurement of health food for Loblaws, said the products of distributors who didn’t remove the non-GMO labels could be removed from the grocery chain’s shelves.
“It is our position that until such time as a government and-or industry-supported definition of genetic modification exists in Canada we will not support product packaging containing non-GMO claims,” the letter, dated Jan. 29, said. No one was available to comment for Loblaws yesterday.
In some Loblaws stores across the country the non-GMO stickers have been blacked out or covered.
The federal government has yet to establish a standard or a labelling policy for genetically modified foods, those that come from plants altered to resist pests or herbicides or to produce greater yields.
Ottawa suffered a setback yesterday in one of its attempts to control labelling of GMO foods when a Quebec judge quashed its bid for an injunction that would stop a beer maker from labelling and advertising its product as “certified GMO-free” by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. The agency doesn’t label or test consumer products for GMOs.
Unibroue Inc. has said that a manufacturer’s certificate signed by a government food inspector proved that the CFIA says its product is GMO-free.