While the U.S. struggles with issues related to GMO labeling, gluten- dairy- and wheat-free issues, the U.K. and at least a couple of continental European countries are merrily moving along with a movement called, simply, ‘free-from’. It encompasses all of the above, and might extend to other ‘freedoms’ currently relevant or potentially relevant to food growing and onward up the food chain.
Meanwhile, the U.S. congress passes, and sends to the president for his signature – ordinarily done with a handful of pens as ‘give-aways’ to selected recipients – a bill that, for all intents and purposes, does next to nothing to ensure products offered to the public are free of genetically modified ingredients.
I know, I touched on the GMO issue a few days ago. But this comparative issue, ‘free-from’, which we will be be looking at in more detail soon, is, oddly, a view few American organizations or individual companies have addressed – and it’s one that’s taking off, elsewhere.
Among the observations about the about-to-be-signed GMO bill is the fact that, as one legislator put it, “the devil is in the details,” and speculation is that it will take “years” for those details to be worked out.
In other words, no one should have high hope that this bill will move the ball very far soon – maybe not even before the next – hopefully one-term – president is replaced.
(While this blog tends to avoid issues of a political nature, it is worth noting, about now, with one the two major political parties having just wrapped up its election year convention and the other’s conclave just getting underway, that whichever of the hardly-lesser ‘evils’ is elected is more than likely to have serious impacts on food-related policies.
Trump has promised to disrupt treaties that affect how, and from where, food enters this country.
A Clinton campaign pledge has her increasing funding “to support the next generation of farmers and ranchers in local food markets and regional food systems”; And she’ll create “a focused safety net to help family farms get through challenging times.”
But campaign statements and promises too often give way to different concepts once a politician [at whatever level] is in office. Time will tell how these two’s promises bear up.
But you can be sure that, one way or another, either would in one, two or another way, disrupt ‘business’ as usual as its being done in the food trade these days.