Saturday, July 7, 2012

Richmond passes ban

Richmond resists pitch from biotech group, passes ban on GE crops
The Vancouver Sun
July 07, 2012

Richmond council stuck to its guns, ratifying its ban on genetically modified plants and crops.

Biotech lobby group CropLife Canada sent a representative to speak to council before the vote. Several hundred people turned out for the meeting, many of them carrying signs opposing genetically modified organisms — popularly known as GMOs or GE crops — and calling for labelling of foods with GE ingredients.

CropLife spokeswoman Janice Tranberg told council that biotech crops and foods are carefully regulated in Canada and are tested by scientists around the world.

“I don’t feel that they consulted all the experts that they could have to get a balanced point of view,” she said after the meeting.

In addition to banning GE plants and crops from Richmond, council’s motion calls on senior levels of government to require such foods to be labelled to support informed consumer choice. Richmond will also include fact-based information about GMOs in its own communications with the public.

[Read More…]

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Amendment rejected

Senate rejects Sanders’ food labeling amendment
For immediate release
Sen. Bernie Sanders office
June 21, 2012

WASHINGTON, June 21 – The Senate today rejected an amendment by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to let states require clear labels on any food or beverage containing genetically engineered ingredients.

The vote on the amendment to the farm bill was 26 to 73.

“This is the very first time a bill on labeling genetically engineered food has been brought before the Senate. It was opposed by virtually every major food corporation in the country. While we wish we could have gotten more votes, this is a good step forward and something we are going to continue to work on. The people of Vermont and the people of America have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.”

[Read More…]

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

CT labeling update

Group meets in new haven to gird for next push on GMO foods labeling
Joe Amarante
New Haven Register
23 May, 2012

NEW HAVEN — Recoiling from a defeat in the state legislature but determined to expand the fight, opponents of genetically modified foods held a workshop in a church library Wednesday morning that drew healthy-food advocates from three of the most populated state counties.

Some 20 people in the Church of the Redeemer library applauded the one state representative present, Richard Roy, D-Milford, whose bill requiring labeling of GM foods seemed to have the support of state residents and legislators when it was stripped of its section on mandatory labeling.

The meeting was run by Tara Cook-Littman and Analiese Paik of Fairfield County, co-founders of Right to Know CT, a group pushing for disclosure of GMO (genetically modified organism) ingredients on food labels.

Cook-Littman said she received an email about the change in the bill.

“So Analiese and I shot back, ‘What? What are you talking about? Are you crazy? That’s the only part of the bill that matters!” said Cook-Littman. She said it was her understanding that Gov. Dannel Malloy and legislative lawyers had concerns about the state being sued.

Roy has said in a published report that the Legislative Commissioners’ Office lawyers forced sponsors to gut the bill.

[Read More…]

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Jackson County ban

Group hopes county will ban plants with genetic alterations
By Ryan Pfeil
Mail Tribune
May 13, 2012

A group of local farmers and food activists hope to convince the Jackson County Board of Commissioners to ban the planting of genetically engineered plants within Jackson County.

But commissioners said the feasibility of such an ordinance has yet to be determined.

Brian Comnes, representative for GMO-Free Jackson County, presented a proposal to the commissioners Wednesday, requesting the board pass an ordinance without a citizen initiative.

Commissioners said the issue is already on their radar and they are looking into it.

“We’re in the process of getting all of the facts,” said Commissioner C.W. Smith. “We want to get as much information as possible.”

[Read More…]

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Don’t ask, don’t tell?

Don’t ask, don’t tell?
by Sam Ross-Brown
Utne Reader
May 08, 2012

Just over half of Americans say they wouldn’t buy a food they knew was genetically modified. Another 87 percent say they want to see GM labels at the grocery store. That’s one reason why Connecticut’s recent failure to require labeling is so surprising, says Treehugger. Now, genetically-modified food is controversial among consumers, farmers, and scientists, and it’s difficult to find a consensus on GM benefits and risks. The World Health Organization, for instance, while noting some potential human health hazards like gene transfer, maintains GM safety is a case-by-case issue.

But the biggest opposition in Connecticut didn’t come from scientists. The reason the bill failed appears to be pressure from Monsanto, which reportedly threatened state legislators with legal action. This was the same tactic that got a GM labeling provision thrown out in Vermont last month, as the one thing cash-strapped states don’t need is a big lawsuit.

[Read More…]

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