Momentum of food movement continues to build on state labeling front
Center for Food Safety (CFS) applauds Maine legislators for passing a bi-partisan bill requiring the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods, making it the second state to do so in a matter of weeks. Center for Food Safety has provided significant support to state GE labeling legislative efforts, including writing model legislation, testimony before legislatures and expertise in a variety of areas. CFS supported both lawmakers and activists in Maine in the advancement of this bill.
An amendment opposed by CFS requires that five contiguous states pass similar laws before the Maine law goes into effect. Just last week, Connecticut became the first state to pass a GE labeling bill, and Vermont and several other states in the Northeast have similar legislation pending.
Some who oppose consumer rights have threatened to challenge the legislation in courts. Center for Food Safety vows to defend states’ rights.
“The biotech industry will not prevail in such a legal challenge. If the Attorney General is not willing or not able to defend Maine’s right to require labeling, Center for Food Safety and other food movement groups with members in Maine will intervene,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of CFS.
Center for Food Safety has been on the front lines of the fight for GE labeling for over a decade by providing model legislation and legal analysis, testifying at state hearings, and submitting a legal petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to demand the labeling of GE foods.
“These recent victories show the power of consumers, who through their vocal and powerful demand for GE food labeling, are finally getting their state lawmakers to listen and take action,” said Rebecca Spector, who spearheads state GE labeling legislative efforts at CFS. “Other states should follow their lead and pass GE labeling laws, providing millions of U.S. consumers with the basic right to know how their food is produced.”
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.
About Center for Food Safety
Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon, and has more than 320,000 members across the country. More information can be found at www.centerforfoodsafety.org.
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