GMO Food Labeling Initiative Defeated

The following article appeared in the Ontario Farmer on December 4th, 2012 and was written by Ian Cumming.

“All it takes is one brave governor to stand up.”

An effort to have GMOs identified on food packaging was narrowly defeated during the U.S. November election in a California referendum by a 52 to 48 % margin.

At the same time, the issue has stalled or been withdrawn as legislation in another 19 states this year. Some estimates have put Monsanto spending to argue its side before the California public at $46 million. Those in favour of the legislation reportedly spent $9 million.

In February 2012, Vermont introduced legislation- which was also approved by its agriculture committee- to have food containing GMOs identified on the packaging.

However the Vermount Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (H-22) was hastily withdrawn after Monsanto threatened to sue the state.

A similar situation took place in Connecticut, which was in the process of introducing similar legislation at the time.

Monsanto successfully sued Vermont in 1994, which had then introduced legislation compelling processors to identify rBST milk. That court ruling had upheld the First Amendment right of dairy processors to remain silent on whether or not their products contained rBST.

The EU has had GMO labelling since 1997, with a number of other countries, like Australia also having passed similar legislation.

And Dave Murphy, President of Food Democracy Now, notes in a recent article that, “all it takes is one brave governor to stand up.”

For more information about GMO labeling click here (CBAN resource).




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