You may have seen a Yahoo Voices article that claims the FDA “deleted” the more than 1 million comments we submitted to the FDA last week. I have learned that the story is misleading.
Here are the facts:
- The FDA has an outdated and non-transparent system that requires organizations like Just Label It to submit multiple signatures as an attachment.
- Each upload is counted as one “comment,” even though it may in fact contain hundreds of thousands of individual comments.
- Lumping signatures together in one comment and uploading to regulations.gov is the way groups have submitted comments for as long as the government has accepted electronic comments (something that the Just Label It team was aware of before collecting comments).
- The FDA has not "deleted" the 1 million+ comments as stated in the Yahoo story.
- More information is available on counting methods in last week's story from the Chicago Tribune.
- To view all the individual comments made in these attachments, someone would need to file a Freedom of Information Act request with the FDA.
While the system at the FDA is not very transparent or user-friendly, this record-breaking number of comments speaks to how, together, with informed and inspired commitment, we can call for the labeling of genetically engineered ingredients in our food supply, as they are labeled in over 40 other countries around the world.
Because it is our firm belief that it is important for the FDA to listen to the American people and label genetically engineered foods, and give consumers the right to choose what they are feeding their families, just as the USDA is listening to the American public over their concerns about the ingredients in ground beef and giving schools the right to choose, too.
We are grateful for your help and look forward to the time that the United States joins other developed countries and gives consumers the right to know what is in the foods they are feeling their loved ones.
To contact the FDA to share your concern, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, call 1-888-SAFEFOOD or visit www.justlabelit.org