New “Labels Matters” Video by Food, Inc. Director Robert Kenner | Civil Eats

New “Labels Matters” Video by Food, Inc. Director Robert Kenner

The Just Label It campaign today launched a new video by Food, Inc. filmmaker Robert Kenner that empowers consumers to fight for their right to know what is in their food. The video, “Labels Matter,” is the result of collaboration between the Just Label It campaign and Kenner’s new project, FixFood, a social media platform that aims to empower Americans to take immediate action to create a more sustainable and democratic food system.

To date, more than 450 consumer, healthcare, environmental and farming organizations, manufacturers, retailers have joined the Just Label It campaign, which has generated more than 500,000 consumer comments calling on the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to label GE foods.  (We wrote about the launch of Just Label It here.) The video seeks to garner more consumer awareness and participation by galvanizing one million consumers to comment to the FDA by mid-April, the date that the FDA’s public comment period ends.

“Labels Matter” tells the story of three women who share a belief in the right to know, but for entirely different reasons. Heather Donatini is a pregnant woman who knows she is feeding her developing baby, as well as herself, with every bite. Luann Clark recently had heart surgery and has to closely monitor what she eats. Robyn O’Brien is a mother whose child developed an allergic reaction to breakfast. “As a mother of children with food allergies, the labeling of GE foods is especially important, as it would provide essential and possibly life-saving information for the food allergic population,” said O’Brien, founder, Allergy Kids Foundation. (We’ve written about Robyn’s important work here and here.)

As the video connects with each woman, Kenner shows how the U.S. compares to other developed nations, including the European Union, Japan, Australia, Brazil, Russia, and even China, where genetically engineered (GE) foods are labeled. The video notes that the vast majority of Americans (90 percent in most studies) believe GE foods should be labeled.

Gary Hirshberg, Chairman of Stonyfield and a founder of Just Label It, collaborated with Kenner to produce the video. “While the pros and cons of GE foods is debated, an entire generation is growing up consuming them,” he said. “Until we have no doubt that GE crops are safe to eat, consumers should have a choice about whether we want to eat them. GE foods must be labeled. Consumers need to know.” Hirshberg recently published “Label It Now,” the first consumer guide to GE foods available at online booksellers. All proceeds of the e-book go to the Just Label It campaign.

The drumbeat for mandatory GE labeling is getting louder, as the FDA decides whether to approve GE salmon and a proposal advances at the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deregulate corn engineered to be resistant to the herbicide 2,4-D, a major component in Agent Orange. You can join in asking the FDA to allow consumers the right to know what’s in their food.

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Naomi Starkman is the founder and editor-in-chief of Civil Eats. She was a 2016 John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford. Naomi has worked as a media consultant at Newsweek, The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, GQ, WIRED, and Consumer Reports magazines. After graduating from law school, she served as the Deputy Executive Director of the City of San Francisco’s Ethics Commission. Naomi is an avid organic gardener, having worked on several farms.  Read more >

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Join the conversation.

  1. Mitchp
    We should decide what we eat. Not anyone else. later it might be proven dangerous.
  2. Mitch priceman
    we should decide what we eat. what if gmo's are proven dangerous down the road? consumers need to know in order to make educated decisions about what goes into their bodies. we don't want to be cattle blindly led. stop abusing your power.
  3. Janet Brooks
    The worst thing is not knowing what you are really eating. I have given up eating meats bought from the store. I hunt my own meats and would never give that up. I love eating vegetables and fruits, but not knowing what has been done to these foods is not right. What chemicals, pesticides or what has been genetically modified to these or any foods is our right to know...
  4. Pete
    If you want to find out the true motives and goals of the FDA, the USDA and mega-food corporations like Monsanto, check out alternative news sites such as Natural News and Alliance for Natural Health. You will find little to nothing on GMOs and what the FDA and other federal agencies are up to in the mainline media. It's like they don't want you to know.
  5. kim ryan
    We need Labeling in BIG letters so that it can't be missed. We reserve the right to choose what we eat! STOP GMO's TOTALLY!! STOP MONSANTO!!!
  6. Karla Horst
    We have the right to know and we have the right to say we will eat organic and trust and know that it is save for us to eat. Our health supplements must also be labeled. We have the right to know.

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