|Will Pennsylvania be the first?|
The increasing use of GMO in the food supply around the world has led 61 countries to at least require labeling of GMO products so that consumers can make an educated decision for themselves. 15 countries have taken a further step to ban GMO altogether, especially in the wake of scientific testing showing that GMO-fed rats had a 600% increase in death over the control group.
In the United States, a political battle over labeling has been fraught with controversy such as the defeat of Prop 37 in California, even as a few CA counties have been successful banning GMO crops and grassroots efforts have intensified. With $40+ million spent by Monsanto and Big Ag to defeat Prop 37, there clearly is much at stake.
Pennsylvania has now added itself to the list of more than 20 states which are formally rejecting the notion suggested by Monsanto et al. that their science is perfectly sound and consumers must accept whatever latest food incarnation they would like to fill the population with. Can Pennsylvania be the first to finally pass such legislation in the United States?
The United States sadly remains the only industrialized nation that so far has rejected the labeling of GM food. A member of the Pennsylvania state legislature, Daylin Leach, seeks to defend consumers in his state.
Leach has introduced a bill to label GMO food which contains most of the elements of Prop 37. Senate Bill 653 would require labeling of any food ingredient/product containing 9/10ths of one percent GMOs as "GE/GMO" on the label, with some exceptions.
“The people of Pennsylvania should have a choice,” Leach said.
The bill would take effect 18 months after passage. Manufacturers and distributors would have to affix labels on the products.
“This bill is not meant to prevent genetic engineering. It is not limited in anyway. It doesn't stop anyone from purchasing bigger salmon or allegedly pesticide resistant crops that have been genetically engineered. But some people do not want to consume that. Why can't they know and make their own decisions?” Leach said. (Source)You can see video of Senator Leach's press conference of March 12, 2013 at the link below.
As David Newman, a tracker of paid political influence stated in regards to the massive spending to defeat Prop 37 in California:
I think it's a David and Goliath story with the companies that manufacture or benefit from genetically engineered food being the Goliath. (Source)True so far, but we clearly have the numbers to dramatically change the equation very quickly, and the massive spending to defeat our right to know exposes weakness.
As major corporations use their money to influence political direction, so must we go through the motions to obtain political victory. However, Goliath has a big problem: this is actually not a political issue, which is why Big Ag is trying to make it one. This is an issue of one's inherent right to grow and ingest food with full knowledge of what ingredients they are introducing to their own bodies and the bodies of their family. It is a question of personal sovereignty, and only deception can alter that fact.
Proof of our eventual victory over hidden GMOs can be found in bi-partisan support on the political battlefield, as well as general grassroots opposition to Big Ag across normally disparate groups and organizations. As noted by Zofia Houseman of GMO-free PA:
This is the people's movement. No corporation has the right to decide what is best for us and our loved ones. The time for legislation has come. The time to act is now. (Source)This bill currently has 12 co-sponsors. Please thank Senator Leach for having the courage to introduce SB653, and please forward this information to get support for its passage into law.
For more information specific to Pennyslvania, you can visit the GMO Free Pennsylvania Facebook Page. or contact them at RightToKnowPA@gmail.com
For more information about all state initiatives, including state-by-state activist groups, please see the Just Label It! Interactive Map below:
H/T: Catherine J Frompovich (PA resident)
Consumer Health Researcher/Author/Advocate
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