October is Non-GMO Month! It’s 31 days filled with celebration, but it’s also a time to take action. Let’s get rid of GMOs in our food!
Our responsibility as consumers has expanded in the past years. Not only are we responsible for making good choices for our families, we’re also responsible for ensuring the choices before us are the ones that are in our best interest. When those interests are at stake, we as consumers must take a stand. That may seem like a heavy load, but it is also incredibly empowering.
Industrialized operations, poor working conditions, pesticide-reliant practices, animal welfare at factory farms—we’ve had enough and we’re fighting back by demanding clean, wholesome food. One of these areas where our voices have been loudest is the topic of genetically engineered organisms, or GMOs. Thanks to so many of us being concerned about how food is made, “non-GMO” has become a household phrase. So much so that megalith conventional brands are changing their practices in an effort to join the conversation. Even Congress has realized consumers want more trust and transparency. But the movement has hit a bump.
In late July of 2016, Congress approved The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, an inaccurate name, which has commonly become known as The Deny Americans the Right to Know (DARK) Act. Under this legislation, a national labeling standard was developed that allows food producers to determine how they will let consumers know about the presence of GMOs in their products. If there’s one thing history has taught us as consumers, it’s that many food producers will go to great lengths to mask what is in their food. The DARK Act is no different. The labeling that will be required does not need to be clearly spelled out on the packaging. Instead, companies can opt to use symbols or even QR codes that need to be scanned by a smart phone in order to see if the product contains GMOs. Thing is, one-third of Americans don’t even own smart phones. A huge percentage of consumers in our country will not be able to access the information on packaging. Hard to believe we’re still fighting for consumers’ right to know what is in our food, isn’t it?
Megan Westgate, the Executive Director of the Non-GMO Project, profoundly outlines the deeply flawed law in her article, “Shining Light on the DARK Act.” She also discusses the “incredible grassroots momentum of powerful GMO labeling bills put forward by hundreds of thousands of activists in more than 30 states” and notes that the “non-GMO movement is a fire too strong to extinguish.” We at Scratch and Peck Feeds agree. In fact, we believe we all have the opportunity to foster change.
At Scratch and Peck, we make a strong commitment to ensuring that our decisions and products lead to a happy planet, happy farmers, and happy animals. We have always been, and continue to be, transparent in our business practices, ingredient sourcing, and how we maintain high-quality, clean feeds. Buying from regional farmers we know and trust, participating in green energy programs, and maintaining certifications in organic, non-GMO, and animal welfare approval programs with rigorous standards are core to our mission.
Being Non-GMO Project Verified is not an easy process; our feeds must pass the rigid testing requirements of the Non-GMO Project Standard. Although more than 65 countries already have strong restrictions against GMOs in human food, the truth is, no global scrutiny exists on GMOs in animal feed. In fact, Japan and South Korea are the only countries to even regulate GMOs in animal feed with a maximum 5% threshold. The Non-GMO Project Standard currently requires a maximum 5% threshold for GMO contamination in animal feed. Our feeds, however, always test below 0.9% — the same high quality standard expected for human grade products!
October is Non-GMO Month, and we urge all of our customers, supporters, and partners to bring attention to the issue, as well as make a public comment on the Non-GMO Project Standard to continue increasing the stringency for GMO avoidance. We’ve provided a sample statement below to make this fast and easy for you.
We are proud that our non-GMO efforts consistently exceed requirements and expectations and that our in-office recycling and product choices match our certifications. It’s our commitment to your animals, to you, to all of us.