National Co+op Grocers (NCG) expresses its support for The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act of 2015, introduced February 12 in the U.S. House and Senate with a renewed call for mandatory federal labeling of genetically modified foods and ingredients.
In addition, the bill prohibits any foods containing GMO ingredients to be labeled “natural”—requirements similarly featured in the Vermont’s Act Relating to the Labeling of Food Produced with Genetic Engineering, which the state successfully passed in 2014.
The federal bill, submitted in the House by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and in the Senate by Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), updates a similar bill the officials authored in 2013 but was not voted upon by the House or Senate.
“Multiple surveys show that more than 90 percent of U.S. consumers want GMO foods labeled. We think all shoppers have the right to know what’s in the food they buy and clear labeling empowers everyone to make their own informed decisions,” said Robynn Shrader, chief executive officer for NCG.
“While we support individual state’s right-to-know efforts, this national legislation presents a simple solution for manufacturers, retailers and consumers with consistent requirements across the nation,” continued Shrader.
“Under the leadership of Sen. Boxer, Sen. Blumenthal and Rep. DeFazio, our elected officials have the opportunity to provide clear, transparent information to Americans who simply want to know whether their food has been genetically modified,” said Katrina Staves, campaign manager for Just Label It.
Rep. DeFazio, Sen. Boxer and Sen. Blumenthal are submitting the bill ahead of Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS), who is expected to re-introduce his bill codifying the current system of manufacturers’ voluntary GMO labeling. NCG opposes Pompeo’s Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (also known as the Deny Americans the Right-to-Know or “DARK” Act), which would also nullify settled GMO labeling laws in Vermont, Connecticut and Maine.
NCG’s support for The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act of 2015 continues its years-long advocacy for GMO labeling at the federal level. NCG is an active supporter of the Just Label It campaign, a national coalition of more than 650 organizations, which calls for the mandatory, federally enforced labeling of GMO foods.
NCG also encourages individuals who support labeling of GMO foods to contact their elected officials to voice their support for The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act.
Until GMOs are labeled, consumers who wish to avoid GMO foods, and the toxic pesticides they are often engineered to withstand, can look to the USDA Certified Organic label.