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GE Labeling Narrowly Defeated in California Senate

May 29th, 2014
Center for Food Safety

Center for Food Safety Vows to Continue to Push for the Right to Know

California’s SB 1381 (Evans) to label genetically engineered foods was narrowly defeated in the California Senate today, with 19 votes in favor and 16 votes opposed. The bill needed 21 votes to pass.

“Center for Food Safety thanks all our members for their thousands of calls and emails to Senators in support of this bill,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast Director at Center for Food Safety. “That SB 1381 came so close to passage in the face of a massive industry lobby is a testament to the passion and dedication of those advocating for the right to know in California.”

The fight for legislation to require the labeling of genetically engineered foods has been fought on multiple fronts. CFS has led the federal rulemaking process since 2011, when it submitted a legal petition to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration providing a blue print for the agency to enact a federal rule under authority granted by the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act. That petition is supported by over 650 organizations and business, and over 1.4 million people have since submitted comments in support.

While no action has been taken at the federal level, numerous states, bolstered by the legal and scientific expertise of CFS, have introduced legislation or ballot initiatives of their own. Connecticut and Maine have both passed GE labeling bills (which are pending similar legislation in neighbor states) and last month Vermont became the first state to pass a GE labeling law with no strings. Oregon and Colorado are gathering signatures for GE labeling ballot initiatives this year. There are currently 64 countries with labeling laws and 34 state bills have been introduced in 2014.

“Center for Food Safety is committed to pursuing mandatory GE labeling in California and across the country,” said Spector. “Every American deserves the right to know what is in their food.”

Center for Food Safety has been working on SB 1381 as a member of Californians for GE Food Labeling, a coalition of organizations, businesses, and networks dedicated to giving California families informed choices about their food. Other members of this coalition include Biosafety Alliance, Californians for Pesticide Reform, California State Grange, CALPIRG, Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, Environmental Working Group, Food Democracy Now!, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth - US, Good Earth Natural Foods,, Moms Advocating Sustainability, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network North America and Pesticide Watch.

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