At the core of our movement is the desire for transparency in our food and in our government. So when word leaked out that Secretary Vilsack was hosting a private, closed door meeting to hash out a GMO labeling compromise, the understandable gut reaction was to mistrust the process, the people in that room and the ultimate results of that meeting. In order to give these meetings the best possible chance of success, keeping them private was critical. I was proud to be a member of that team along with Gary Hirshberg from JLI, Scott Faber from EWG, Chris Miller from Ben & Jerry’s, and David Bronner from Bronner’s Soaps. We want to assure everyone that YOUR voice was heard. YOU were in that room. And we should all feel confident knowing that our representatives stood strong and united for mandatory, on package GMO labeling. We are all in this together. Our movement is stronger when we can trust each other and understand that we are on the same team.
We are thankful to Secretary Vilsack for the time he spent with us, but in the end, there was not enough common ground to emerge from that room with a GMO Labeling proposal agreed upon by leaders from both camps. Our request is simple: On package disclosure of GMOs. We want the same rights that the citizens of 64 other countries already enjoy. And, with Vermont implementing in July, we will not accept any federal law that does not meet or exceed the standards being set by the states.
What does this mean?
• It means that it is time to dig in, find your energy and get ready to fight.
• It means doing everything we can do to pass legislation at the state level. Our country’s history shows that the states, as ‘laboratories of democracy’ often show our federal government the path by carrying out the will of the people.
• It means our Senators and Congressmen and women need to hear from us today, tomorrow and the next day.
• It means our movement needs to remain united and avoid the temptation to lash out at each other instead of those fighting to keep Americans in the dark.
Make no mistake about it, while we are very close to winning this fight, we are also on the verge of losing it. In 2015, the only thing that stood between us, and the passage of Dark Act, was the will of a number of Senate Democrats. We must focus our attention on securing that support once again so that the power of the states remains intact.
This is a historic moment in time. With your continued support, with your inner strength and your unwavering voice, we will win the fight so that every American can make their own decision on whether or not to purchase GMOs.