Sunday, March 18, 2012
NJ Puts Forth Bill To Label Genetically Engineered Food
NJ Bill To Label Genetically Engineered Food
Progress is definitely being made at the state level regarding bills being put forth to label GE foods. The latest one is from the state of New Jersey. S1367 is a bipartisan bill proposed by state senators Vitale (D) and Singer (R) that seeks to label GE foods. I emphasize bipartisan because in the US we don't see too much of that of late. I also emphasize it because I truly do think that is the only way to see progress on bills like this. It also emphasizes that this important issue transcends political lines because genetically engineered foods affect us all.
I will be posting some information you can use if you would like to contact the NJ legislature to support this bill being passed. I wrote to my legislator a few months ago on this and was part of outreaches to see this bill come to pass, so I am happy it has finally been proposed. Here is the note I sent them yesterday to ask the legislature to support the bill:
As a constituent who is very concerned about the food I eat and the effects of genetic modification of seeds on our health and environment, I would like you to support bi-partisan legislation introduced by Senator Singer and Senator Vitale to require labels for genetically engineered foods.
Since GE foods were first introduced in the U.S. food supply in 1996 without our knowledge or consent these foods have increased to 94% of soy crops and 88% of corn crops. Despite the prevalence of GE foods in the food supply the USDA continues to rely on industry safety studies to determine public health impacts of these foods. These organisms which are dominated by Monsanto's BT soy and corn (a registered pesticide with the EPA) sprayed with glyphosate (Round Up) cause transgenic contamination of organic crops which has also cost small scale organic farmers their livelihoods while threatening biodiversity through polluting rivers, streams and being found in the human bloodstream.
Independent studies on these organisms as well have shown effects on kidney cells with other potential health effects such as allergies. Up to this point the term "substantial equivalence" has been applied to imply these GE seeds are the same as conventional seeds. This is not the case. Therefore, without labels consumers have no idea which foods they are eating are genetically engineered. Having the ability to choose the foods you eat to avoid those that may be unhealthy to you and your children is a fundamental right. Many other countries in Europe as well as Asia have labelling requirements for GE foods. Americans as well have the right to know what they are eating.
Please follow the lead of Senator Singer and Senator Vitale by co-sponsoring S1367 and supporting the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
Site for NJ State Legislature
We can do this. The state level seems to be the only place we can. It is imperative we work to protect our biodiversity and change our destructive unhealthy food system, especially in the face of the global crises we face regarding climate and economy.