Tell Obama and FDA to Enact GMO Labeling
15 Nov, 2013
The final votes are nearly in and unfortunately I-522 [Washington state’s Initiative 522] looks to have been narrowly defeated. I-522 would have required the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods in Washington State. While late polls showed the Yes on I-522 campaign in the lead, I-522 is now failing by a 3 point margin. While more votes still need to be counted, I-522 is not expected to overcome this deficit in the votes that remain.
In what became a disappointing replay of last year’s vote on California’s GMO labeling bill (Prop 37), big food and chemical companies dumped millions of dollars into defeating the initiative, with a carefully coordinated smear campaign to mislead voters. These out of state companies poured an outrageous $22 million dollars into the “No” campaign in Washington, and a shocking $45 million into the “No” campaign in California last year.
While corporate interests may have won in Washington State, we can win in Washington, D.C. Tell Obama and the FDA it’s time to label GE foods nationwide!
Connecticut and Maine both passed bills this year to label GE food and over 50 GE labeling bills have been introduced in 26 states. Now is the time to bring GMO labeling to the whole country!
It’s disappointing that the flood of corporate money trumped public interest in Washington. But hundreds of thousands of people supported labeling of GE foods in the state, and that should send a powerful message to the federal government that public demand for the right to know what’s in our food is not going away.
When President Obama ran for office, he promised he would label GE foods at a campaign speech in Iowa, but we’re still waiting for him to keep that promise. Two years ago, Center for Food Safety filed a formal legal petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) urging the agency to require labeling of GE foods and providing a blueprint for the agency to do so, but FDA has failed to act or even respond to the petition.
It’s time to hold FDA and President Obama accountable and demand that the right to know be given to all Americans.
GE foods are already required to be labeled in 64 countries around the world including the 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand and many others. A poll released by ABC News found that 93 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling of GE foods. Yet the U.S. is one of the only developed countries in the world that doesn’t require labeling. That needs to change.