Tell Congress Not to Preempt of State GMO Labeling Laws
On the heels of the passage of mandatory genetically engineered GMO labeling bills in Connecticut and Maine, and the introduction of labeling bills in over 20 other states, Monsanto’s allies in Congress are rumored to be working on a bill to preempt the ability of states to enact their own labeling laws for genetically engineered (GE) foods.
Without mandatory labeling of GMO foods, consumers are being left in the dark about the foods we are purchasing and feeding our families. There is overwhelming public demand—consistently near 95%—for the labeling of GE foods. Yet the U.S. is one of the only developed countries in the world that doesn’t require labeling; sixty-four countries have mandatory labeling policies for GE foods including Korea South, Japan, the United Kingdom, Brazil, China, South Africa, Australia, the entire European Union, among others. Already in 2013, over 50 GE labeling bills have been introduced in 26 states, including Hawaii, Washington, Indiana, Missouri, and Vermont, with many more expected by year’s end.
Action has already been taken at the federal level this year: Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recently introduced legislation that would require nationwide, mandatory labeling of GE products.
So why would anyone introduce another GMO labeling bill? We’ve all heard the rumors that corporate representatives from big biotech and big food recently descended upon the Capitol in order to weaken any potentially successful GE labeling standards. This bill could very well be the result of that effort.
The introduction of this bill would only serve to undermine state and federal legislation meant to grant consumers the right to know and avoid GE foods. Attacking state labeling laws does nothing to address the increasing call from consumers for transparent GE food labeling. Instead, it gives the biotech and food industries yet another free pass and keeps consumers in the dark.