By Analiese Paik
I received this lovely email letter from Congressman Jim Himes updating me on federal activity on GMO labeling. It’s nice to know that all the advocating we citizens did with him face-to-face has made a difference. When we first met with him, he knew nothing about the issue, and now he’s a champion of labeling!
You have written to me in the past about genetically engineered (GE) foods. With this in mind, I wanted to take a moment to update you on the latest development in Congress regarding this issue.
Recently, I became a co-sponsor of the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act (H.R. 1699), introduced by Congressman DeFazio and Senator Boxer. This bill would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetics Act to require that genetically engineered food and foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients be labeled accordingly, allowing consumers to make better-informed choices about their food purchases.
As a supporter of GE labeling, I believe Americans have the right to know whether or not the food they eat is genetically modified. Regardless of possible health risks associated with consuming these products, we should establish and implement a whole and robust labeling system that allows consumers to make conscious decisions about which foods they purchase.
Currently, this bill has been referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. While I do not serve on this committee, please be assured that I will continue working to see this legislation passed into law.
James A. Himes
Member of Congress
Instead of embracing a local-in-season approach to eating, Cornell is genetically modifying broccoli to make it heat tolerant so it can be grown for a longer season in more regions according to a July 9 article in The New York Times. It can then be marketed as fresh and local. Good grief. Seems quite a luxury (and a myopic fixation) to spend that kind of money creating an enhanced broccoli when common sense dictates that we learn to love the vegetables our farmers harvest throughout the season. We have plenty of heat-loving crops coming our way that are also good for our health. Embrace biodiversity.
I reported in late May that Chipotle has come clean and given consumers 100% transparency by labeling GMOs in their foods. They are our nation’s first restaurant chain to embrace GMO labeling and should be applauded for that. Using the information on their website, you can now choose Non-GMO when eating there. They are also working to eliminate GM ingredients from all their foods. Subsequently, The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has started a petition asking Chipotle to also provide this GMO ingredient information in-store. Sign if you care!