GMO labeling legislation is being reintroduced in both houses of Congress by Democratic Senators. Renowned Chef Tom Colicchio joined with California Senator Barbara Boxer, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal, and Oregon Democratic Representative Peter DeFazio on the bipartisan bill introduced this week.
If passed, the GMO labeling that would finally give American consumers more information about what is in the food on their dinner plates and how the crops are produced. Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act would mandate the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) order that food manufacturers label foods that contain GMO ingredients.
“We cannot continue to keep Americans in the dark about the food they eat. More than sixty other countries make it easy for consumers to choose. Why should the U.S. be any different? If food manufacturers stand by their product and the technology they use to make it, they should have no problem disclosing that information to consumers,” Representative Peter Defazio said.
Food Policy Action, Environmental Working Group, Just Label It, and Center for Food Safety advocates heralded GMO labeling efforts by lawmakers and urged them forward. More than 1.4 million signatures were garnered on genetically modified food labeling petitions circulated by pro-labeling activists.
Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act labeling opponents are reportedly pushing a bill which would pre-empt all GMO labeling rules already in effect in Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont. There are currently similar genetically modified food labeling bills pending in more than 20 other states.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a GMO ban in Los Angeles is reportedly losing support, and may not happen at all. Just three days before local lawmakers were slated to vote on a ban on all genetically-modified crops, a massive lobbying effort was embarked upon by a biotech trade group.
The GMO ban had already breezed through the initial stages of approval by Los Angeles officials, with only one city council member reportedly expressing any doubt about its passage. When the Los Angeles City Council sat down in late December to discuss the GMO ban once again, three of the five voting members uttered opposition. However, all said, the biotech lobbying efforts had nothing to do with their change of heart.
“Since nothing else has changed [except biotech lobbying] it clearly was heavy lobbying,” said Los Angeles Councilman Paul Koretz, who proposed the GMO ban.
“The public wants more information about the food they are buying and how it’s grown. I applaud Senators Boxer and Blumenthal and Representative DeFazio for their leadership and urge their colleagues to join them in standing up for the 93 percent of Americans who want to know whether their food has been genetically modified,” said Colicchio, owner of Craft Restaurants and co-founder of Food Policy Action.
A group of farmers flew to Washington D.C. earlier this week to lobby Capitol Hill for GMO labeling legislation. Many farmers have opted to utilize more toxic herbicides on GMO crops in order to withstand chemical herbicides that contain glyphosate.
“Overuse of glyphosate has led to the growth of ‘super weeds’ that require farmers to use even more toxic herbicides that have been linked to cancer, Parkinson’s disease and reproductive problems,” the Center for Food Safety notes.
“Under the leadership of Sen. Boxer, Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. DeFazio, our elected officials have the opportunity to provide clear, transparent information to Americans who simply want to know whether their food has been genetically modified,” Just Label It campaign manager Katrina Staves, said.
EWG Senior Policy Analyst Mary Ellen Kustin had this to say about the GMO labeling law.
“The industry promise that planting GMO crops would reduce the need for harmful weed killers has been broken. We’ve run the first 20 years of the GMO experiment and now know that in fact GMOs require more herbicides over time. With even more toxic compounds like 2,4-D and dicamba being approved for use on GMO crops, consumers should be able to make informed decisions about what food they’re buying.”
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