TTB to Review Alcohol Labeling: GMOs in Your Beer and Wine?


beerWondering if your favorite beer contains GMOs? How about anti-freeze, or MSG? These are just a few of the additives in beer, wine, and other alcoholic products, which currently are not required to be labeled. This could all change soon, though, due to state pressure regarding GMO labeling laws that were recently brought to light.

The Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) was given jurisdiction over alcohol labeling just after prohibition. Congress passed the Alcohol Administration Act of 1935, which gave the Department of the Treasury power. Alcohol was seen as a big tax revenue generator, much the same marijuana is being realized as a source of income for states today.

In the 1930s, there was no consideration for the biotech monopolies that would eventually infiltrate the food supply, including alcoholic beverages. Many beer and wines now contain GMO soy, high fructose corn syrup (a GMO product), GMO rice, and other genetically modified organisms.

Beer can contain:

  • GMO corn
  • GMO corn syrup
  • GMO rice
  • GMO dextrose
  • Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)
  • Propylene glycol (a chemical found in anti-freeze)
  • Caramel coloring (made from carcinogenic ammonias)
  • Calcium Disodium EDTA (made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine)
  • Fish bladders
  • Stabilizers linked to intestinal issues
  • Food colorings made from petroleum and linked to hyper activity and learning disabilities
  • BPA (a toxic substance which is made from plastic and causing epidemic obesity

The TTB says:

 “. . .given the inquiries we have received and interest at the state level we are reviewing our policy on GMO-related statements on labels under our jurisdiction.”

Currently, the Texas Alcohol and Trade Commission (TTB) labels on alcohol scarcely provide any information to consumers at all.  They label only the proof (percent of alcohol), carbohydrates, and protein as well as calories. There is no mention of the carcinogenic additives and GMOs lurking in your favorite drink. Whether you enjoy a Corona, Miller Light, Fosters, or Guinness, it likely has ingredients in it you may never consider drinking.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest, a consumer research organization, applauded one recent petition from Food Babe which pressured some beer makers to post all ingredients online. the CSPI notes in a statement that it petitioned and then sued the U.S. government to reveal beer ingredients three decades ago.

“The government used to publish a list of permitted ingredients in beer, which included food dyes, foam enhancers, preservatives, sweeteners, enzyme, and chill-proofing agents,” the organization said. “Ingredients like propylene glycol alginate, Red 40, caramel coloring, and others should certainly be listed on labels in case consumers are concerned about allergens or simply troubled by beers that contain a raft of additives.” 

If the TTB allows states to decide whether manufacturers have to label their products, we can look forward to more transparency and place another nail in the biotech coffin.