Boring Words and Scary Barcodes: Everybody Whines about the Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill

IMG_1201The U.S. Senate passed a mandatory GMO labeling bill this week based on a compromise (gasp) and everybody is unhappy so, hooray for bipartisanship! The bill lets companies disclose genetically engineered ingredients through a QR code, words, or pictures. The reactions from anti-GMO activists and various parties involved in the GMO Labeling Wankfest have been great:

Anti-GMO Activists: *whining* We have spent one gazillion dollars and all the years of our lives demanding a mandatory GMO label. But we don’t want that one – it has boring old words.

Organic Consumer Association:  But we wanted skulls and crossbones! A GMO label is supposed to say ‘CONTAINS TOXIC SLUDGE’, goddammit!

Center for Food Safety: QR Codes? Labels with boring words? Poor people and mothers are too stupid to read boring words or use phones. This is discrimination!

US Right to Know: *hisses* They will reap what they have sown. I will FOIA you all. And, um, here’s my resume.

The Non-GMO Project:  *Tries to sell butterfly logo on Craigslist*

Stonyfield Yogurt:  *crying* Why does everybody hate us? We just wanted to sell more yogurt.

Whole Foods: We do not care if anyone hates us because we have 14 billion dollars.

The Food Babe:  How does this affect me? I am bored. I will blackmail Stevia now. *tweezes eyebrows*

Bernie Sanders: *channels Glenn Close* I’m not gonna be ignored, Dan. *tweets pictures of Coke and M&Ms*

Pro-GMO Activists: *frowny faces* But we wanted to see Vermont become Venezuela. Boo.

Science Journalists: *teary-eyed* You mean this wasn’t about a consumer’s right to know stuff? This is so confusing.

Amy:  Ha ha. Taste it, Bitches.

Just kidding about the last. Sort of. I like compromise and bipartisanship so I think it’s awesome when everyone is miserable. Labeling is useless but this issue isn’t going away so let’s just get it over with, move on, and enjoy watching people act like they’re too stupid for QR codes. It’ll be fun! It’ll also be fun to see how the antis will play this. Mandatory labeling was never about a consumer’s right to know what’s in their food – that was just the way it was marketed. Who would argue against consumer’s wanting to know stuff, right? Well, now they will know and guess what? It’s not enough. This label was always about either an outright ban or just, you know, selling some yogurt at Whole Foods.

So, here’s the breakdown of misery:

The Gardening with Goats and Hoes Anti-GMOers

The Gardening with Goats people aren’t going to be happy until there’s no such thing as agricultural technology. Tech is an affront to Jesus, Princess GAIA, Fran Drescher’s husband, random deities – no matter who or what they worship – Labels with Boring Words and QR codes are, like, totally insulting to their dreams of ancient grains and gingham jam jars. One of these Goat People is Bernie Sander’s pal, Jeffrey Smith (the genius behind the Vermont labeling law) and he thinks seeds grow better if you talk dirty to them plus he literally thinks he can fly. (Yes, a serious contender for president consulted a flying carpet guy on legislation – 2016 is so weird.) Doesn’t matter though because QR codes and boring old labels with words are not going to get it done for these guys. They want that icky shit banned. Science be damned. Speaking of Bernie:

Bernie Sanders Accidentally Demonstrates Why GMO Labeling is Stupid

Bernie’s picture of M&Ms and Coke on Twitter this week says everything you need to know about why GMO labeling is stupid. He’s all, “Waaah! Look how hard these labels are to understand!” Let me try to slow this down for stubborn old Bernie:

The genetically engineered ingredients in your Coke and M&Ms are not the problem with your Coke and M&Ms. The problem is that they are COKE AND M&Ms. Even if they did not contain genetically engineered ingredients, they would still be the exact same COKE and M&Ms. In other words, you’re still eating shit.

Still confused? The label doesn’t tell you anything. Also, NOBODY CARES. The people who are running around, slobbering about their right to know, don’t eat that shit anyway. And they don’t actually care about the environment or they wouldn’t be fighting against GMOs in the first place. Environmental concern, just like the right-to-know bullshit, is just another way to market the idea of labeling – then banning – GMOs. (By the way, the sugarcane industry here in Florida thanks anti-GMOers for throwing business their way by vilifying the GMO sugar beet. We love our green algae beaches.)

Anti-GMO Activists with Skin(Cash) in the Game

Finally,  we have the good ol’ U.S.A. capitalist anti-GMOers like Whole Foods and Stonyfield Yogurt who just wanted to gain some market share. These antis are the organic industry folks who sold out to the Big Food companies behind the new bill. Or something. It’s kind of boring. Anyway, these poor slobs aligned themselves with the Goats and Hoes crew to try to make GMO labels mandatory so that they could scare people into buying more organic cookies and yogurt. I think their bosses at Big Food were finally like, “Yo, lose the crazypants friends,” so they sucked it up and compromised on the Labels with Boring Words and QR Codes. They’re not happy. Goats and Hoes hate them – they’re calling them traitors. It’s sad. Not really. Taste it, bitches.



Amy and Julie Celebrate Nobel Laureates Day


This is a (mostly) true story about how Julie and I reacted to the exciting news that Nobel Laureates were uniting to tell Greenpeace to knock it off with their GMO opposition:

Julie:  *bounces* I have scoop. Over 100 Nobel laureates are getting together to tell Greenpeace to stop being assholes about GMOs and Golden Rice.

Amy: *seal claps* I love Golden Rice. Maybe Greenpeace will finally stop being assholes about it.

Julie: *rolls eyes* Greenpeace will never stop being assholes about GMOs and Golden Rice.

Amy:  *cries*

Julie:  Buck up, Buttercup. This will be huge news.

Amy:  Yes! Nobel laureates telling Greenpeace to stop being assholes about Golden Rice will be the biggest story ever!

Julie:  The laureates are even giving a press conference in D.C.!

Amy:  Oh my god. This is so huge.

Amy and Julie:  Hooray for Nobel laureates! This will change everything!

Day of Nobel Laureate Announcement…

Amy:  *wakes up early* It is Nobel Laureate Day! It is just like Christmas!

Julie:  *calls Amy* Happy Nobel Laureate Day!

Amy and Julie:  *Stream press conference*

Amy:  I cannot wait to see Twitter reactions.

Julie:  I cannot wait to read all of the front page stories.

Amy:  *refreshes Twitter*

Julie:  *refreshes Twitter*

Amy:  *refresh*

Julie:  *refresh*

Amy:  Maybe reporters are busy writing their stories.

Julie:  Yes! There will be 100 front page stories tomorrow.

The Next Day…

Amy:  Where are the front page stories?

Julie:  There are no stories.

Amy:  *cries* The is the worst Nobel Laureate Day ever.

Julie:  I am going to go fight with people on Twitter.

Amy:  I am going to go write passive-aggressive satire about Greenpeace.

The End

In other words, it was just another day in the world of GMO drama. We were naive to think this day would be any different, after all, the National Academy of Sciences came out with a report a few weeks ago that should have put an end to the nonsense coming out of the anti-GMO camps but it didn’t. The usual suspects just followed the same old script:

Most Prestigious Scientific Organization Ever in Existence: GMOs are fine. This argument is stupid. Knock it the fuck off.

Anti-GMO Activists: *rend garments* Seralini! Lumpy Rats! Monoculture!

Scientists: *massive collective sigh*

Anti-GMO Activists:  *foam at mouth* Shills! Monsanto! Bleeaaarrrrgh! *hack up hairballs*

News Organizations: *snore* This again?

Why we thought the Nobel Laureate announcement would be some huge breakthrough is the big mystery. God himself could come down from a mountain holding an ancient tablet carved with the words “GMOs are fine. Knock it the Fuck Off.” and these people would not care. Here’s how the big Nobel laureate announcement basically went:

109 Nobel Laureates: GMOs are fine. Knock it the fuck off. Oh, and this bullshit of yours could be killing people. Love, Literally the Smartest People Alive

Anti-GMO Activists: *yank out eyelashes* Nobel Laureates are stupid! Shills! Monsanto!

Nobel Laureates:  *massive collective sigh*

News Organizations:  109 Nobel laureates? Never heard of ‘em.

Julie and I cried (not really) but there was a silver lining because the only rebuttal that anti-GMO activists had besides the “Monsanto Shill Slow Jam” was a press release which claimed that an academic paper by a known GMO-skeptic had shown that Greenpeace and other GMO opponents had nothing to do with stalling Golden Rice. (It didn’t show that at all but that’s another story.)

Greenpeace:  *whining* This paper proves that our massive, well-funded campaign against Golden Rice was meaningless.

Paper’s Cited Sources: That’s not what we said.

Greenpeace:  Yeah huh. The one gazillion dollars we’ve spent fighting GMOs and Golden Rice have totes been a waste. *sticks out tongue*

At least it’s been amusing to watch these people pass around an article that tells the world how fucking useless they are. So, there’s that.

In spite of our disappointment that this wasn’t nearly as exciting to other people (or news outlets) as it was to us, the laureates did an incredible thing in using their influence to shed light on an important humanitarian issue (Vitamin A Deficiency) and calling out the organizations making it more difficult to address.  It’s still early so maybe this story will get some traction; maybe a breakthrough in the GMO debate will still happen because they took a stand. No matter what, the laureates have our deepest admiration. And we were just kidding, it was actually a pretty great Nobel Laureate Day, even if it didn’t get the parade it deserved..