Democratic Line Reintroduces Bill for GMO Labels
- by Andrew McDaniel
WASHINGTON D.C. - Democratic Senators Barbara Boxer and Richard Blumenthal, as well as Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio have reunited in order to reintroduce the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act. If passed, the bill would put into place legal requirements for the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to have all genetically modified foods labeled.
“Consumers have a right to know what is in the foods they eat and parents have a right to know what they are feeding their families,” Senator Boxer said, according to a press release. “This legislation will direct the Food and Drug Administration to require clear information for food that has been genetically engineered.”
The FDA currently does not have any requirements or legal obligations to identify genetically modified foods, having declared back in 1992 that as the foods were not “materially different” - defined by the statement as something that could be recognized by consumer sight, smell, or taste - from conventionally grown produce, it was not a necessary differential.
“This measure is about the right to know,” Senator Blumenthal said. “Consumers demand disclosure and truth-telling about food, and they're right."
The political lineup for the bill’s reintroduction is the same as it was back in 2013 with one well-known exception; Owner of Craft Restaurants and Co-Founder of Food Policy Action Tom Colicchio.
“The public wants more information about the food they are buying and how it’s grown,” Colicchio said, according to the release. “I applaud Sen. Boxer and Rep. DeFazio for their leadership, and urge their colleagues to join them and stand up for the 93 percent of Americans who want to know if their food has been genetically modified.”
Collichio refers to statistics provided by the reports with which the bill was proposed, stating that of the Americans polled more than 90 percent supported the labeling of any foods that had been genetically engineered. According to the release, many consumers are surprised this is not already done, especially while 64 other countries already do so.
“We cannot continue to keep Americans in the dark about the food they eat,” Congressman DeFazio said in the release. “More than sixty other countries make it easy for consumers to choose. Why should the U.S. be any different? If food manufacturers stand by their product and the technology they use to make it, they should have no problem disclosing that information to consumers.”
This is far from the only labeling law under consideration, and has only just been reintroduced this month. Stay tuned as ANUK follows this developing story.