Saturday, May 5, 2012

Lawmakers urge labels

Lawmakers urge labels for genetically modified food
By Ken Dixon
Greenwich Time
May 05, 2012

HARTFORD — A bill linking Connecticut to a pending referendum in California that would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods is in a race with the legislative adjournment date later this week.

Lawmakers pushing for the so-called genetically modified organisms (GMO) legislation say it’s important to allow people to decide for themselves whether they want to purchase the controversial products.

But House leaders are concerned over the possible lengthy debate on the constitutionality of requiring the labeling, and making a Connecticut law dependent on action in another state.

“We’re trying to get it on the `go’ list,” said Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, co-chairman of the legislative Environment Committee, who this year has made the labeling issue one of the major goals of his final year in the General Assembly.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

California initiative

California groups push for vote on GMO food labels
By Carey Gillam
Reuters
May 02, 2012

A California initiative to require labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients appeared headed for the ballot in November after organizers said on Wed nesday they had gathered nearly 1 million signatures in favor of the measure.

The hotly contested proposal is similar to measures being pushed in other U.S. states and at the federal level as GMO opponents demand more transparency in food products.

The California measure would require labeling of foods made with biotech corn, soybeans, canola, or other biotech crops to specify that they were “produced with genetic engineering.”

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Friday, April 20, 2012

GMO labeling bill OKd

House Panel OKs GMO labeling bill, but with a caveat
Terri Hallenbeck
Burlington Free Press
April 20, 2012

MONTPELIER — By a 9-1 vote Friday afternoon, the House Agriculture Committee approved a bill that would require genetically engineered foods to be labeled.

Legislators said the move comes in response to an increasing call for information about the contents of food and wariness about the science of genetic engineering.

For several reasons, however, the controversial labels are far from a reality in Vermont.

[Read More…]

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Push to label

Push to label genetically modified food gains traction
By Georgina Gustin
stltoday.com
March 03, 2012

Thousands of products in the typical American grocery store, from cereals to corn chips, contain genetically modified ingredients. But the average shopper wouldn’t know it from their labels.

Many companies in the food and biotechnology industry, including Creve Coeur-based Monsanto Co., want to keep it that way. But they’ll have to fend off a growing push for labels on genetically modified products that’s gaining traction in Washington and state capitals.

At least 18 states are now considering laws that would make the labels mandatory, including Illinois and California, the country’s biggest market. Earlier this year, pro-labeling advocates marched from New York to Washington. Late last fall, about 500 groups, including some of the country’s biggest consumer organizations, banded together as the Just Label It campaign. Also last fall, the Washington-based Center for Food Safety filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, calling for the agency to require labels. As of this week, the petition had 850,000 signatures of support, the most ever for a federal food petition.

“Fifty countries have mandatory labeling. We’re one of the only developed countries that doesn’t. GMOs are labeled in China, Russia. Why would consumers in those countries have this information and we not have it here?” said Megan Westgate, executive director of the the Non-GMO Project, a group that verifies and labels products as free of genetically altered ingredients. “It feels like we’re at this tipping point where a lot more Americans are concerned about this.”

[Read More…]

Monday, February 27, 2012

WA State GMO Bills Fail

Washington State GMO Bills Fail to Pass, Despite Citizen Support
By Lisa Wederspahn
Epoch Times
February 27, 2012

OLYMPIA, Wash.—Washington state Senate and House bills that would require labeling on foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients, or genetically modified organisms (GMOs) were unable to move beyond committee this year, according to Jason Callahan, legislative assistant to Washington state Rep. Cary Condotta, sponsor of one of the bills.

“There was a lot of interest in this issue,” said Callahan. “We got a ton of emails, phone calls,” he said, from people showing support for the bills. These bills may take time to gain momentum and wider support and awareness, he said, and predicted that this issue will have potential in the next session and the years to come.

“We are going to be introducing this bill again next year. It’s an idea whose time has come, and we will continue to pursue it until it becomes the law,” said Sen. Maralyn Chase, sponsor of the other bill.

According to the website of Organic Consumer’s Association (OCA), a grass-roots public interest organization, the bills’ opponents say that implementing labeling would be too costly for the state and that it would interfere with federal laws that govern interstate commerce.

OCA also stated that a number of Washington state representatives and senators didn’t even know of the bills’ existence and they may choose to be sponsors for the coming session.

The United States and Canada do not have federal laws that require labels on GE foods, but 50 other countries, including the United Kingdom, Australia, and Japan, label GE foods, according to labelgmos.org, a website for the Committee for the Right to Know, a grass-roots coalition that created a campaign for a California ballot initiative to label GMOs in food.

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