The American Grassfed Association presents “What the F*ck Are We Eating? An Overview of Labels” at ShiftCon this year.
- Paige Wolf, Author of Spit That Out! The Overly Informed Parent’s Guide to Raising Healthy Kids in the Age of Environmental Guilt and the owner of Paige Wolf Media and Public Relations
- Carrie Balkom, Director of the American Grassfed Association
- Shannon Gonsoulin, Farmer
WHAT: What the F*ck Are We Eating? An Overview of Labels.
SPONSOR: The American Grassfed Association
WHEN: Saturday, December 3rd
TIME: 9:45am CST
For better or worse, 2016 has seen unprecedented changes within the American food labeling system. From a controversial federal GMO labeling bill to the USDA revoking the GrassFed label standard to new Nutrition Facts labels in the works – what does it all mean? Panelists from the American Grassfed Association and Nature’s Path join a food movement author and influencer for a discussion on where the nation is heading and what it means for consumers.
Consumers are facing a quickly changing landscape of food labeling – some is a solid step toward transparency while other labels are more confusing than ever. The evolution of GMO labeling initiatives over the past couple years is particularly interesting.
In 2014, Vermont became the first state to make GMO labeling mandatory. And, in response, House Representatives passed federal legislation to preempt states from requiring the labeling of GMO foods. This legislation became known in the consumer rights community as the “Deny Americans the Right-to-Know (DARK) Act.” But, in March 2016, the DARK Act failed to pass in the Senate. While labeling advocates were hopeful but cautious, seeing this as a temporary reprieve, the weeks immediately following were vastly significant.
Within days, General Mills made the announcement that it would begin labeling all genetically modified foods. They were following in the footprints of Campbell’s, who had made a similar announcement in January. And then the dominos began rapidly falling—Kellogg’s, Mars, ConAgra, Del Monte. Announcements of large corporations labeling GMOs are beginning to snowball. Large food companies realized that once the Vermont law was enacted, it would be nearly impossible to craft new labels for each state. Companies also likely concluded that it would be cheaper and easier to simply apply the new label to all of their products, thus making little Vermont’s law the de facto national standard.
Then in the summer of 2016 a NEW somewhat “lighter” “Dark Act” passed, creating a new federal mandate that GMOs be labeled – BUT, labeled with QR codes and (800) numbers. This makes it confusing for consumers especially those who are not smart phone savvy. So where does that leave us? Add to that changes in the national standards for Grass-Fed Beef and we may be left with more questions than answers. In the meantime, the Food and Drug Administration is making its own changes to the familiar “Nutrition Facts” label, updating most packaged foods by mid 2018. The big change is a separate line showing how much sugar has been added to each food, reflecting increasing concern about the amount of sugar that Americans consume.
This panel will break down the biggest questions about these changes, helping the audience with their quest to be conscious, savvy shoppers and support brands they can trust.