Monday, December 5, 2011
Dennis Kucinich: Allow Consumers to Make Informed Choices
The State Column
December 05, 2011
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today issued the following statement upon announcing legislation that would require the labeling of all foods that contain or are produced with genetically engineered (GE) material.
“Genetic engineers have dramatically altered the food we consume, disrupting entire ecosystems and contaminating crops with potentially devastating effects on our long-term health. Despite mounting evidence of the irreversible changes caused by genetic modification, the agribusiness and pharmaceutical industries ask us to believe that experimenting with Mother Nature causes no harm. Already there is ample evidence that this kind of manipulation does have an impact on our bodies and on the ecosystem we all depend on. We cannot rely on the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect us from the threat of GE organisms when those same agencies allowed genetically engineered organisms into our food and pharmaceutical supplies without first requiring objective studies to show they were safe.
“Since GE crops were first approved, the concerns about their very real threat to farmers have become widespread and the questions about the safety of eating GE organisms have steadily grown. Meanwhile the industry has resisted objective study of the issue. To this day, biotechnology companies are largely allowed to self-regulate. Enough is enough. The American people are demanding a right to know. My legislation puts the onus on Congress to be responsive to the will of the people. It gives the power to consumers to make an informed choice about the products they consume.
“Big agribusiness fought efforts to inform consumers about the basic truths of their products. GE crops now cover 10% of global farmland. Now, biotechnology companies heralding a false solution to world hunger want to slip onto supermarket shelves a genetically modified salmon engineered to grow to twice the size of a normal salmon. My common sense legislation will finally allow informed consumers to make their own decisions and to vote with their wallets. People have a right to know how their food is made and whether or not it has been genetically modified,” Kucinich said.
H.R. 3553, The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, would for the first time, require genetically modified food to be clearly labeled. It would also require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to periodically test products to ensure compliance.
Kucinich introduced The GE Food Right to Know Act as part comprehensive regulatory framework for all Genetically Engineered (GE) plants, animals, bacteria, and other organisms, including fish.
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
CA GMO Labeling Initiative submitted
Committee For the Right to Know
November 9, 2011
California Ballot Initiative to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods Submitted to Attorney General
Wide-Ranging Coalition Seeks to Secure Initiative on November 2012 Ballot
SACRAMENTO, CA – Today, the grassroots Committee For the Right to Know, a wide-ranging coalition of consumer, public health and environmental organizations, food companies, and individuals submitted the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act to the State Attorney General for title and summary, prior to circulation as an initiative measure for the November 2012 election.
The initiative would require genetically engineered foods (also known as Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs) and foods containing GMO ingredients to be clearly labeled, similar to current labels with other nutritional information.
Genetically engineered food is usually plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered in a lab with genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This genetic alteration is experimental, and is not found in nature.
The risk of genetically engineered foods is unclear, and unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the safety of genetically engineered foods for human consumption has not been adequately tested. Recent studies show that genetically engineering food can create new, unintended toxic substances and increase allergies, cancer risks, and other health problems, especially for children. Experts agree that by labeling genetically engineered food, we can help identify foods that cause health problems.
Monday, November 7, 2011
Legislation may pass GMO labeling duties to produce distributors
By Kathryn M. Roy
Hartford Business Journal
November 07, 2011
Legislation being introduced by state Rep. Richard Roy (D-Milford) to require clearer labeling of food products that contain genetically modified organisms could prove costly to produce distributors.
The legislation failed in the Connecticut General Assembly this past session, but when it is resubmitted next session, Rep. Roy said he expects the bill to require distributors to be responsible for the labeling before products are offered for sale. Daniel Batchelder, outside sales manager at FreshPoint in Hartford, says the legislature faces problems in defining what produce needs to be labeled. And, he says, any extra costs would have to be passed on to consumers.
GMOs are organisms that have been genetically modified at the cellular level to increase yields and resist disease. They are most often found in produce, but processed foods can also contain GMOs. One of the concerns about GMOs is that the long-term effects on consumers have not been determined. Five countries in the European Union, most recently Germany, have banned them, due to the “threat to the environment.”
Opponents say consumers ought to have the right to know if the genes in their food have been modified.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Board puts off GE food labeling resolution vote; revised document to be brought back
By Elizabeth Larson
Lake County News
27 October 2011
LAKEPORT, Calif. – The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday delayed a scheduled vote on a proposed resolution in support of mandatory labeling for genetically engineered foods, directing that a revised document be brought back to its next meeting.
Supervisor Denise Rushing had brought the resolution to the board after she said she was approached by a group of citizens.
The resolution asks state and national legislators to enact legislation requiring mandatory labeling for all food ingredients made of genetically engineered – or genetically modified – plants.
Thurston Williams, a member of that group that approached Rushing, told the board, “We’re not here today to ask you to ban genetically engineered plants,” but rather to ask the board to support labeling rules, which he said didn’t require them to agree on the use of GE.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
California pushes to label GMOs
By Linda Bentley
October 26, 2011
Ballot initiative could be death knell to ‘Frankenfood’ express
CHINO, Calif. – In March 1994, Asgrow Seed Co. (a Monsanto subsidiary) President Norman Braksick was quoted in the Kansas City Star as saying: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.”
The Committee for the Right to Know, a political action committee based in Chino, Calif., is preparing to begin a signature drive to require just that – mandatory GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) labeling – on the California ballot in 2012.
The initiative aims to require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods and food ingredients, which have also been referred to as “Frankenfoods.”
The initiative is backed by a broad base of health, environmental and consumer groups, and is heartily endorsed by Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative medicine advocate, who promotes dietary and lifestyle approaches to health.
Surveys also indicate 90 to 95 percent of the general public want to know which foods contain GMOs.
Europe is almost entirely devoid of genetically modified foods because they are banned in several countries. The countries in which they are permitted require mandatory labeling of GMO ingredients, which has, for the most part, steered consumers away from those products.
LabelGMOs.org is organizing the campaign to get the initiative on the ballot in California as soon as the state completes its review of the initiative, which takes 40-60 days.