1) Misrepresentation in labeling
2) Passing off vague definitions that allow a large percentage of ingredients to go undisclosed
Now, the USDA also prohibits the use of the widely-known terms “GMO” and “GE” (short for "genetically engineered"). But, don't be fooled. The USDA isn't putting a ban on GMO or GE; it's just starting to classify them differently.
It's no secret that the USDA openly encourages the use of genetically engineered crops, which, in turn, increases pesticide use and pesticide dependency. This isn't exactly the kind of food safety most consumers are entrusting the USDA to uphold.
Experts in food safety have criticized the organization for serving the interests of chemical-intensive agriculture and large-scale business.
How can the USDA ensure the health and safety of food in America while simultaneously aiming to satisfy the demands of big agribusiness?
Answer: They can't.
Recent government mandates require all executive departments to suggest recommendations for improving regulations and review. In other words, new policy has ordered a complete overhaul of USDA proceedings and definitions.
But, even with its goal of promoting public health and safety, this incentive has not achieved much change. Instead of waiting for government action to address this issue, it's due time we said "NO" to labels and "YES" to real, local food grown by real, local farmers.
Being informed about where our food comes from and how it was grown is a vital part of promoting a well-functioning food system, and it's something we can all do!
Article by Local Roots contributor Jess Santoro // @jess_santoro
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