On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, once again floated the idea of consumers using barcodes to identify foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as an alternative to requiring food manufacturers to put a label on products that contain GMOs.
Referring to the ongoing debate over GMO labeling laws, Vilsack (according to the Associated Press) told the House during a hearing on agriculture spending: “We could solve that issue in a heartbeat.”
Solve the issue for whom? Tot-Toting Moms with busy schedules who would need to take the added step of scanning every item in the grocery store, instead of just glancing at the label? Older people who struggle as it is to keep up with rapidly evolving technologies? Or how about for those people who can’t afford—or don’t want to own—expensive smartphones?
Vilsack’s barcode scheme is just one more attempt to keep consumers in the dark about the GMOs in their food—and absolve the USDA, FDA and EPA of any responsibility for the toxic soup of chemicals poisoning our food and ecosystem.