PURE FOOD WATCH - March 2013 GMO LABELING FIGHT IGNITES
by Jersey Farmer
Last November, California Prop 37 to label genetically engineered (GE) ingredients was defeated after the food and biotech industry spent $46 million on deceptive propaganda.; but it helped raise public awareness about GE foods and the fact that we are being denied the right to know what is in our food. A backlash has begun. General Mills had spent over $1.1 million to help defeat Prop 37. Last December they released a Facebook app asking their Cheerios "fans" to "show what Cheerios means to you". It backfired in their face, when thousands used the app to express their disgust over the company's betrayal.
But the big news came, when the health food giant Whole Foods, announced that it will make labeling of GE ingredients
mandatory in its American and Canadian stores by 2018. The Organic Consumers Association and Dave Murphy of Food
Democracy Now, have urged Whole Foods to move up their timeline, saying "Americans need labeling of GMO foods now, not five years down the road."
The National Growers Associations (NGCA) sent a letter to its members in February restating their support of GMO labeling and
encouraged their vendor partners to consider the negative impact they would have by supporting campaigns to prevent labeling of GMOs. The organization told their members "We believe GMO labeling will be a reality in the coming years and hope your organization will join us by showing leadership in this area in support of consumers' right to information to make informed purchase decision."
The Organic Consumers Association has announced the creation of a new nationwide campaign called the Organic Retail and Consumer Alliance (ORCA), which includes co-ops, natural food stores, farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) buying clubs and wholesalers. One of their targets is to expose the misleading practice of 'natural' labeling and marketing. Due to the confusion of consumers as to what 'natural' means, the so-called natural foods has become a $60 billion business. There is no legal definition as to
what constitutes 'natural' products. Remember that horse manure is a 'natural' product.
Washington state's I-522 GMO labeling law is expected to pass in November, 2013 which would become the first statewide mandatory GMO labeling law.
Barbara Thomas of GMO Free NJ, has updated me on the two bills on GMO labeling being considered in New Jersey. The Senate bill S-1376 was discussed by the Senate Health Committee on 3/4/13 and is expected to be posted for
a vote in May.
YOU CAN HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
Neither bill has been acted on yet and if you are a NJ citizen you can help, by calling or writing (or both) to you local legislators and ask them to co-sponsor GMO labeling bill A 3192 or S 1367.
Ask the NJ senators to support S1367. Senator Stephen M Sweeney, 935 Kings Highway Ste 400, West Deptford, NJ 08086 Phone 856-251-9801, Senator Fred H. Madden, 129 Johnson Rd. Ste 1, Turnersville, NJ 08012 Ph 856-232-6700
To find your asemblyman check www.njleg.state.nj.us/districts/municipalities.asp or call the reference desk at your local library.