New Mexico & GMO labeling

SUBHEAD: After defeat of Prop 37 in California, New Mexico Takes on Monsanto and GMO producers over labeling.

By Staff on 22 December 2012 for Liberty Beacon -

Image above: Poster featuring facts about labeling GMo foods.  From second article below.

A lawmaker in New Mexico wants to make it mandatory for genetically modified foods to be properly labeled in supermarkets across the state. Given the last attempt, though, it’s likely to be an uphill battle.

State Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) has proposed an amendment that won’t be brought into debate until next year, but he hopes it will be approved so shoppers can be sure of what they’re putting into their bodies. If Sen. Wirth’s amendment is approved, it will make it mandatory that genetically engineered food and items containing GMOs are adequately labeled.
“The premise of this amendment is simple – New Mexicans deserve the right to know what’s in the food they are eating and feeding to their families,” Wirth says of his proposal. “Labeling GE foods and feed will empower consumers with basic information to help them decide for themselves the types of food they want to buy.”
While Wirth’s legislation seems logical enough to be approved, precedent actually puts his amendment at risk. Just weeks earlier, residents of California shot down a bill that would have brought mandatory GMO labeling to the West Coast. In that instance, Proposition 37 was expected to be approved by voters, but on Election Day it was rejected by a margin of 53 to 47 percent. Proponents say the last-minute defeat was the result of a multi-million dollar campaign against the item that was waged by the biggest GMO companies in the country.
“Genetically engineered foods found on market shelves have most commonly been altered in a lab to either be resistant to being sprayed by large amounts of toxic herbicides, or to produce, internally, their own insecticide,” Mark Kastel of The Cornucopia Institute said in a statement last month. “Corporations that produce both the genetically engineered crops and their designer pesticides, in concert with the multi-billion-dollar food manufacturers that use these ingredients, fought this measure tooth and nail, throwing $46 million at the effort that would have required food manufacturers to include informational labeling on GMO content on their packaging,”
In New Mexico, Sen. Wirth is already seeing an influx of support. If biotech giants Monsanto and Dow dump millions into efforts to discredit his amendment though, there could be some serious challenges. Meanwhile, he’s making headway in terms of getting people to talk about his plan.

“Giving foods with GE ingredients a label will only improve and expand independent health and scientific knowledge about genetic engineering,” Food & Water Watch’s New Mexico Organizer Eleanor Bravo says of his amendment. “We need the research of genetic engineering to be expanded beyond the companies who own the seeds and stand to profit and labeling will allow this to happen.”

Shortly before the defeat of Prop 37 in California, Lundberg Family Farms CEO Grant Lundberg said, "No matter what happens, we've raised awareness of a very important issue.”

Under Sen. Wirth’s proposal, companies that don’t properly label GMO items will be subject to penalties under current rules pertaining to “misbranding.”

FDA Disappears "Label GMO" Signatures 
 SUBHEAD: FDA deletes one-million signatures for GMO labeling campaign.

By Truthert on 31 May 2012 for Pak Alert Press - 
While the Food and Drug Administration has seemingly reached the limit for unbelievable behavior, the company’s decisions continue to astound and appall consumers and health activists alike. In the agency’s latest decision, undoubtedly amazing thousands of individuals yet again, the FDA virtually erased 1 million signatures and comments on the ‘Just Label It’ campaign calling for the labeling of genetically modified foods.

The ‘Just Label It” campaign has gotten more signatures than any campaign in history for the labeling of genetically modified foods. Since October of 2011, the campaign has received over 900,000 signatures, with 55 politicians joining in on the movement. So what’s the problem here?
Evidently, the FDA counts the amount of signatures not by how many people signed, but how many different individual letters are brought to it. To the FDA, even tens of thousands of signatures presented on a single petition are counted as – you guessed it – a single comment. This is how, despite over a million supporters being gathered by the petition, the FDA concluded a count of only 394.
“This is an election year and there are more than a million people who say this is important to them. This is petition has nothing to do with whether or genetically modified foods are dangerous. We don’t label dangerous foods, we take them off the shelves. This petition is about a the citizens’ right to know what they are eating and whether or not these foods represent a novel change.” said Andrew Kimbrell an attorney for the Center for Food Safety, one of the partner groups on the Just Label It campaign.

The argument as to whether genetically modified foods are dangerous is a whole discussion on its own, but for the FDA to completely sidestep away from the labeling of GM foods is completely and utterly irresponsible. Consumers have every right to know what they are consuming. Needless to say, biotechology giant Monsanto is against GMO labeling, claiming that it would mislead consumers since GMOs are ‘perfectly safe’.

Of course there is plenty of evidence proving that GMOs are not completely safe, and how they affect life in the long-term is questionable to say the least. Either way, there is enough controversy surrounding the issue which is cause for alarm for millions of people, and Monsanto’s opinion on GMOs safety is a sorry excuse for not labeling foods as GM. Is the FDA avoiding such an issue because so many ties exist between genetically modified makers like Monsanto and the agency?

The bottom line is that you have the right to know what is in your food, and what your food IS. Denying that right, whether it be by the essential deletion of millions of signatures on a petition, or by ignoring the voices of thousands of people on the street, is taking power away from the people.

EU labeling GM, Nano & Cloned Food

SUBHEAD: UK and other member states expected to fight proposals to bring in compulsory labelling for consumers on novel foods.

By Staff on 5 May 2010 for The Ecologist - 

The Ministers of Environmental Protection (MEPs) have voted almost unanimously in favor of introducing compulsory labeling on food containing nanoparticles, meat from cloned animals and animals fed on genetically modified (GM) feed.

The politicians voted in favour of all nano ingredients in food to be suffixed with the word 'nano' in brackets.

In January this year, the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee criticised the food industry for failing to be transparent about its use of nanotechnologies and nanomaterials.

Friends of the Earth's food campaigner Kirtana Chandrasekaran said consumers were largely unaware of the extent of both GM and nano in food.

'It is a big hole in the labelling legislation, and in the case of GM most of what currently comes into the EU is animal feed. Consumers should be given the freedom of choice,' she said.

Both decisions will now need to be approved by the European Council, which has previously rejected the proposals on GM labelling. However, with MEPs voting a second time in favour of tougher rules on GM and nano, observers say the Council is likely to face pressure to reach a compromise.

The Council will also have to decide on further regulations after MEPs voted in favour of measures to ban food derived from cloned animals.

A report published this week by the campaign group Testbiotech highlighted the lack of regulations governing cloned animals, their offspring or breeding material being imported into the EU.

'There is a high likelihood that consumers will be served products from cloned animals or their offspring without their knowledge,' said report author Christoph Then. 'There is no transparency for consumers and farmers.'

The Council is expected to decide on whether to accept the EU Parliament's decision by July.


1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Hawaii, ground zero for experimental field testing of gmo crops, needs to be next to push for labeling. Join the rally at the Capital on January 16th with Vandana Shiva and Walter Ritte. Vandana Shiva comes to Kauai on the 17th. If you are concerned about the health and safety of our island communities, show up for her talk.


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