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One should always read a proposed law carefully before reporting on it. The claim that this law covers many more products than the Vermont law must be countered by the fact that there is likely an even larger number of food products it will exempt. While this law does include a large number of food products that include both GE food ingredients AND meat ingredients not covered by Vermont’s law (frozen pizzas with meat toppings, soups with meat ingredients, etc.), this proposed law exempts most of the food products covered by the Vermont law. It does this by using a very narrow definition of “bioengineering” in ways that excludes food product produced with newer genetic engineering crops such as CRISPR and RNAi-silencing interference (e.g. the GE Arctic apple). It also appears to exempt all food product made from Roundup Ready and BT GE crops. At the same time, the bill as written clearly exempts any highly processed food products made from GE sources in which there is no rDNA present (e.g. oils made from GE soy, corn or cottonseed or sugar made from GE sugar beets). Since these oils and related products are used in a majority of processed foods, most products containing them would be exempt from labeling.
Just with a smart phone? No plans for a website they will have to look up specific products?
Not just a smart phone…in order to read a QR (Quick Reply) Code, one of those square pixelated images, you also need a QR app and know how to use it. A QR code takes you to the company website that describes ingredients and maybe more. You also need connectivity — wifi or cellular — in order for the app to work. Other options are a symbol on the package indicating GE ingredients, an 800 number to call. These are all ways of dodging the simplest solution used by many other countries the require GE labeling: a clear, conspicuous, on package phrase such as “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”