It's going to be near impossible to find out where your beef and pork were born, raised, and slaughtered due to a new law passed in the United States, reported MSN on Monday. After debating for over a decade, Congress finally repealed a labeling law that required manufacturers to list the country of origin on all food packaging.
Consumers worry the lack of efficient labeling laws could make it easier for the manufacturers to sneak in GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) into the mainstream food supply. Congress' decision benefits mainly one interest group--the red meat manufacturers. Now, they will not have to list the country of origin on any of their food labels, making it a complete mystery to the consumer where their food source was born, raised, and eventually slaughtered. Those opposing the food label laws believe that without strict red meat label laws, the meat manufacturers would be able to sneak in GMOs or less than stellar quality of meat, in order to make more money.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Congress had no other choice but to repeal the decision on food labels. The World Trade (WTO) Organization ruled against listing the country of origin on meat packaging. Congress decided instead of a lengthy battle with the manufacturers; it was best to repeal their initial decision and make a uniformed law that matched the World Trade Organization decision. Congress spokesperson stated the repeal was effective immediately.
The lawmakers claimed they had exhausted all their options and had to repeal the law. They feared a massive retaliation from the WTO after Congress found out they had urged Canada and Mexico to begin a billion-dollar economic retaliation against the US.
Before the repeal was initiated, red meat labels had to include what country the meat was born and slaughtered, giving the consumer the choice not to purchase red meats processed in certain countries. Recently, Congress shelved a law that would require manufacturers to label all GMO meats and products. The absence of identification for the country where the red meat was slaughtered will make it much easier for the manufacturers to cut corners and slip GMO products into the mainstream food supply. In fact, this is one of the biggest fears of many Americans after learning of the red meat label repeal.
The bill is a big disappointment for many Americans. Instead of getting more labels on their foods, the government and lawmakers are making sure it is hard to find out exactly where the food came from. Experts have spent the past few years advising Americans to read their food labels to know where their food came from, where it was slaughtered, and to use that information to make an informed decision whether to buy that red meat.
Congress stated it wasn't over quite yet. They intend to try to find a middle ground that would make the manufacturers and the consumers happy. They acknowledged that the repeal allows the meat packers to deceive the consumer by skirting the issue of not revealing the origins of the red meat they consume.
Congress felt the biggest hurdle in finding a common ground with the meat industry will be finding a solution without disrupting the market distribution;. However, they realized that consumer has a right to know where the red meat they consume was slaughtered. The issue of red meat labels is expected to be in the spotlight in the summer; Vermont will decide whether a manufacturer must label foods containing GMOs. Lawmakers feel sure that Vermont will secure some law structure protecting the consumer from GMOs, enacting some type of food labeling law.
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