More Fun with Labels!
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is undertaking an online consultation on its
Food Labelling Modernization Initiative, until August 30, 2013. The supporting document prepared by CFIA -the Discussion Paper for Food Labelling Modernization– suggests that this is driven by changes in production, processing and global trade, but also by consumers, who “… are looking for more diverse and innovative food choices.
- Consumers are becoming more aware and knowledgeable about labels on products, to ensure that products meet their needs (e.g. health and safety; getting best value for money)
- Higher consumer expectations and increased media attention around labelling requires improved transparency and accountability
While much attention has been devoted to CFIA’s changing definition of “local food” -and this has raised interesting conversations on the importance of local– it also opens the door to a reevaluation of CFIA’s approach to GM labelling. And given the USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service has recently opened its own door to “Non-GMO” labels, such a reevaluation is more likely now than ever. And also more urgently required than ever, following the recent discovery in Oregon of Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GM wheat seeds -a product which was never commercially released- and CFIA’s recent approval of Monsanto’s Roundup-Ready GM alfalfa. This is a conversation that we must engage in, as part of the critical development and evaluation of sustainable food systems.
And that means, both in the info-tainment media and online, sifting through 1) reasoned, well-supported arguments; 2) venomous attacks; 3) meaningless, sycophantic drivel; 4) unhelpful exaggeration and 5) distracting disinformation, as well as 6) broad uncritical surveys, that present all of the above as equally deserving of your attention.
Snap Quiz #1
Based on the previous descriptions, it’s time to do some labelling of your own!
“Label” the following recent items from 1-6 … it’s fun for the whole family!
UK must become global leader on GM crops
GM crops won’t help African farmers
Choice of Monsanto Betrays World Food Prize Purpose, Say Global Leaders
World Food Prize 2013 Laureates
CropLife Canada: GM Labeling
Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods
Case for GM Food Labels Weak