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April 25th, 2013

Why Federal GE Food Labeling Matters

By Anna Ghosh

If we had to pick the most prevalent food issue of 2013 so far, the fight to get genetically engineered food labeled is probably it. Citizen-led campaigns have been successful getting legislation introduced in more than 20 states; inspired by California’s Prop 37, which suffered a narrow defeat in November after chemical and Big Food corporations poured millions into the campaign.

But consumer demand for GE labeling is not a new development. For years, polls have shown that the majority of Americans want GE food labeled, just as it is in more than 60 other countries including China, Japan and Russia.

Finally, it appears that Washington is beginning to listen. Yesterday, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) have introduced a bill to order the Food and Drug Administration to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. The bill has bipartisan support with 20 combined co-sponsors between the Senate and the House.

Clearly, the statewide campaigns have played an integral role in getting Congress to pay attention to the fact that their constituents want to know whether or not they’re eating and feeding GE food to their families. And statewide initiatives continue to be critically important to ensure that consumers have the right to make informed choices about the food they buy. This is why Monsanto and its agrochemical colleagues will likely dump millions into misinformation campaigns to defeat Initiative 522 being voted on in Washington in November.

But even if Washingtonians prevail and I-522 makes GE food labels the law in their state, there will still be 49 other states where consumers will continue to be in the dark. This is why in the long run we need strong, uncompromising federal legislation to give all Americans the basic information they want about how their food was produced. Tell your Members of Congress to co-sponsor Boxer/DeFazio’s legislation if they haven’t already.

6 Comments on Why Federal GE Food Labeling Matters

  1. Judy theisen says:

    Please vote no on gm fish

  2. John says:

    I think the title of this post is a bit misleading. The post doesn’t explain why GE labeling matters. It’s possible the public doesn’t understand that either, many might simply be afraid of the words “genetically engineered” and “food” together.

  3. nick generalovich says:

    This issue is elementary to the purpose of a legislator… public safety, well being, and ensuring fair practice. It doesn’t matter what people are “afraid” of or what they may assume about the ingredients of a product, we as tax payers should all have the right to see the ingredients of what we purchase to make an educated decision on whether we want to buy it or not for ourselves. Not labeling food that is genetically altered as such is the same thing as lying. It is fraud. I will do everything I can to make sure legislators who do not support the complete ingredient labeling of all products are voted out of office. -NG

  4. Michael Lanigan says:

    As usual, my senator is in front of the curve.

  5. Georgi Olenik says:

    I don’t understand why I as a consumer cannot have the information on a label for me to choose whether I want to buy and feed this to my family. I have the right to choose!!! Pass the label law. This is very important, it is a matter of choice. What choice do you have if you don’t know what is in your food when it is not labeled??

  6. Pat Zaharopoulos says:

    We should know what we are eating!
    Please pass labeling laws.

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