Can We Succeed in Pushing Back Against Dangerous Genetically Engineered Foods?February 14, 2012
Genetically engineered food is the biggest uncontrolled experiment ever conducted on humans. Nearly all of our processed food contains genetically engineered ingredients. A handful of biotechnology companies dominate the US market and claim there is no safety risk to consumers, animals, or the environment. The evidence suggests quite the opposite. Remember the animal studies that showed sterility by the third generation?
We’ve partnered with numerous campaigns and combined efforts to stop the GE food take over of our food supply. All of us need to keep taking action to support these campaigns. The federal government, no matter which party is in power, is unwilling or unable to stand up to the GE industry, so citizens must do it instead. The only reason major food manufacturers stopped contaminating the European food supply with GE food sources was because European citizens voiced their objection to GMO in massive numbers.
Here are some of the major campaigns for which we need your support:
Petition the FDA to Label GMOs, with Congressional Support
The Center for Food Safety, on behalf of over 400 organizations and businesses, has filed a Citizen Petition with the FDA which states that GE foods are being mislabeled because consumers are mislead as to their origin and cannot differentiate GE foods that have known health problems from non-GE foods.
This petition challenges FDA’s claim that GE foods are “substantially equivalent” to non-GE foods and that they therefore do not need to be labeled. According to the petition, non-GE foods that are not labeled as such are in fact misbranded—which FDA must, by law, take seriously.
When FDA first stated this “substantial equivalence” policy in 1992, 98% of the public comment opposed it. Despite the fact the FDA has received strong pushback against their stance, FDA has never bothered to address any concerns, nor has the agency ever completed or released any information assessing the human health or environmental effects of genetically modified organisms.
On February 6, a Dear Colleague Letter supporting the Citizen Petition was sent by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR). Please contact your senators and representative today and ask them to sign the Dear Colleague letter!
California GMO Ballot Initiative
In October we reported on a California ballot initiative to require labeling of genetically engineered foods. Labeling is a big deal. You may remember the devastating quote from a Monsanto employee: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” Of course, we would say that’s a good thing!
ANH-USA has partnered with the campaign, and we’re doing our all we can to support the efforts. The campaign needs 500,000 valid signatures. Signature collection officially starts on Feb 18, but the campaign is signing up volunteers for signature collection trainings right now. Please go to the LabelGMOs.org events page, sign up, and make a change.
You can also visit the Organic Consumers Fund to learn more.
State Bills on GMOs
In addition to California’s ballot initiative, there have been bills in a number of states requiring the labeling of GE foods.
- HB2746, Relating to the Labeling of Genetically Engineered.
- HB216, Relating to Food Labeling.
- HB2034, Relating to Food Labeling
- SB2443, Relating to Food Labeling; Genetically Engineered
- SB2891, Relating to Food Labeling
Four bills introduced in 2011 still need your help.
HB722, An Act Relating to the Labeling of Food Produced with Genetic Engineering