Maine Becomes Second State to Enact GE Labeling Law
Center for Food Safety today applauded Governor Paul LePage, who signed legislation making Maine the second state to require labeling for foods produced with genetically engineering (GE). The requirement would not take effect until five contiguous states enact similar legislation.
“American consumers want the right to know what is in the food they eat, plain and simple. The food movement has created the political will to label genetically engineered foods and states are beginning to respond,” said Rebecca Spector, who spearheads state GE labeling legislative efforts at CFS.
Polls show 90-95% of Americans want GE labeling. In 2013, 50 bills were introduced requiring labeling in 26 states. Sixty-four nations including China, South Africa, and all countries in the European Union currently require GE foods to be labeled. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) recently introduced federal legislation that would require nationwide labeling of GE products.
“The writing is on the wall. As the political power of the food movement continues to grow, big food manufacturers will need to adapt,” added Spector.
It was recently revealed that the food industry is working to preempt state GE labeling laws at the federal level – a proposal that CFS has vocally opposed.
Center for Food Safety (CFS) has been at the center of the fight to inform consumers about GE foods for over a decade. CFS provided legal testimony before Maine state legislators and has maintained an active presence in the state, providing resources and expert legal and scientific advice to citizens and lawmakers.
In a 2011 legal petition, Center for Food Safety provided FDA with a blueprint for a federal labeling of genetically engineered foods. FDA has yet to formally respond to that petition, though the agency has received more than 1.4 million comments supporting the petition and mandatory labeling.