The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Gary Ruskin (415) 944-7350

Obama Admin. Proposes Ridiculous Anti-Consumer Plan for GMO Labeling


Despite polls showing overwhelming support for labeling for genetically engineered foods, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack proposed yesterday that consumers should use their smartphones to scan bar codes on food packages to find out whether their food contains GMOs.

Vlisack's idea is sure to cheer the food industry, while denying Americans the right to know what is in our food.

"Why not just enforce our right to know what is in our food? Why does the Obama administration stand up for Big Food and not consumers?" asked Gary Ruskin, executive director of U.S. Right to Know. "Is the Obama administration is in the pocket of Big Food? It sure acts that way."

"A fancy smart phone and a pricy data plan should not be prerequisites for knowing if your food has been genetically engineered," Ruskin said.

In 2007, as a presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama promised mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. He said: ""Here's what I'll do as president ... We'll let folks know if their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they're buying," Obama has yet to keep his promise.

In 2001, then-Governor Vilsack was named Governor of the Year by the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

A January 24 statement published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe -- signed by 300 scientists, physicians and scholars -- asserts there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs.

U.S. Right to Know is a new nonprofit food organization that investigates and reports on what food companies don''t want us to know about our food. For more information, please see our website at

U.S. Right to Know is a nonprofit investigative research group focused on promoting transparency for public health. We are working globally to expose corporate wrongdoing and government failures that threaten the integrity of our health, our environment and our food system.