Tuesday, June 19, 2012

AMA to consider GM foods

AMA to consider genetically modified foods
By Emily P. Walker
MedPage Today
June 18, 2012

CHICAGO - The American Medical Association will consider adopting a position on genetically modified foods that would place the doctors’ group on both sides of the fence on the contentious issue.

On one hand, a report that will come up for a vote here Tuesday at the AMA’s policy-setting House of Delegates meeting would put the group on record as agreeing that there is no proven risk of bioengineered foods. But the same report calls for mandatory premarket safety approval of foods that come from plants or animals that have had their DNA tweaked.

During early debate on a report from the AMA’s Council on Science and Public Health on genetically modified foods, some delegates called for mandatory labeling of such foods, while others maintained there isn’t enough science to show bioengineered foods pose any risks to human health.

Meanwhile, protesters flanked the Chicago hotel where the meeting is being held, rallying against bioengineered foods.

[Read More…]

Friday, June 15, 2012

Sanders calls for labeling

Sanders calls for labeling genetically-engineered food
Press Release
Sen. Bernie Sanders office
June 14, 2012

WASHINGTON, June 14 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today proposed an amendment to the farm bill that would let states require that any food or beverage containing genetically-engineered ingredients be clearly labeled.

The Vermont Legislature earlier this year considered a bill that would have required labels on foods that contain genetically-engineered ingredients. The House Agriculture Committee heard testimony from 111 citizens and hundreds more crowded the Statehouse to show their support. Despite passing by a lopsided 9-1 vote in committee, the bill languished after Monsanto threatened to sue the state.

Similar strong-arm tactics by one of the world’s leading producers of genetically-engineered foods and herbicides have been employed elsewhere by Monsanto, the multi-national company that posted $1.6 billion in profits last year. “It’s no mystery why Monsanto would fight people’s right to know,” Sanders said “Business is booming for the chemical company. Clearly, they have a lot to protect.”

The Sanders Amendment, cosponsored by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), acknowledges that states have the authority to require the labeling of foods produced through genetic engineering or derived from organisms that have been genetically engineered.

[Read More…]

Thursday, May 24, 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…]

Wednesday, May 9, 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…]

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.

[Read More…]

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