President Obama signed a bill into law July 31 that creates a national mandatory standard for GMO labeling. The topic has been a source of heated debate for more than a year, but now that it’s finally a reality, many are criticizing the law’s apparent legal loopholes.
The law stipulates that companies can either list the GMO ingredients directly on the label, or include a QR code or an 800 number to learn more. This is why the bill has also been nicknamed the DARK Act, or the “Denying Americans the Right to Know” law. Critics of the bill say the law will actually be a deterrent for people looking to gather more information on what’s in their shopping carts.
The bill also effectively cancels out a stricter GMO-labeling law that was just passed in Vermont earlier this year. Sen. Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate, was one of the bill’s many critics who felt it pandered to the interests of Big Agro and large food companies more than to the interests of Americans.
Although GMO has become synonymous with a paradigm of uncertainty, genetically modified ingredients are already in about 75–80 percent of our food, according to Fortune. Most scientists have reached a consensus that GMOS are not harmful to our health, although they are not particularly helpful either.