Rep Slaughter and Senator Gillibrand Cosponsors of GMO Labeling Bill

Two of out three of our Congressional representatives, Rep. Louise Slaughter and Senator Kristin Gillibrand, are cosponsoring the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act (HR 1699 and S 809).  Where is Senator Schumer?

I received this from Senator Gillibrand:

April 15, 2014

Dear Mrs. *****,

Thank you for contacting me about the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would create a federal standard for the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  I strongly support this legislation and was an original cosponsor of this bill.  Improving the safety of our nation’s food supply is my priority, and I understand your concerns about the potential risks posed by GMOs.

I believe that GMOs can play an important role in combating world hunger, increasing agricultural productivity, and improving the nutritional content of certain foods.  I do, however, share your concerns about the potential risks of environmental contamination and long-term impacts GMOs may have on human health.

Currently, there are many opinions regarding the safety risks associated with GMOs, but very little scientific evidence to help consumers make informed decisions.  We need to develop better diagnostic methods for evaluating the safety of consuming GMOs, as well as improved oversight and management of agricultural practices that might contribute to genetically modified seeds cross-contaminating conventional production systems.

While the scientific community continues to analyze the safety implications associated with GMOs, consumers should be given the right to make the most informed decisions possible.  I believe that GMO-free products should have the right to be clearly labeled with full transparency for consumers.

Thank you again for writing to express your concerns, and I hope that you will keep in touch with my office regarding future legislation and concerns you may have. For more information on this and other important issues, please visit my website at http://gillibrand.senate.gov and sign up for my e-newsletter.

Sincerely,

Kirsten E. Gillibrand
United States Senator

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One Response to Rep Slaughter and Senator Gillibrand Cosponsors of GMO Labeling Bill

  1. Senator Gillibrand states, “…consumers should be given the right to make the most informed decisions possible. I believe that GMO-free products should have the right to be clearly labeled with full transparency for consumers.” Many/most GMO-free products do state that; whose stopping them? The FDA has allowed voluntary labeling since 2001. What is she saying? It is double speak. We want food manufacturers to label their products that contain genetically engineered products. I don’t see any company voluntarily assuming that role! The Senator says one thing–“consumers should be given the right to make the most informed decisions possible,” then couches that with a statement that gives power to the biotech agri-business companies. She needs to change her standardized reply letter because it really is not applicable to the Peter DeFazio/Barbara Boxer sponsored Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act (HR 1699 and S 809) in question.

    Representative Mike Pompeo (R-Kansas) just introduced a bill last week entitled Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 which would strip rights from various states that are in the process of passing their own GMO labeling bills, would give the FDA sole authority for GMO labeling and it would render labeling as a voluntary act. That last stipulation is what Senator Gillibrand states in the sentenced highlighted above. Just for the record, a release from the Environmental Working Group says: The top individual contributor to Pompeo’s campaign coffers has been Koch Industries Inc., at $238,900. The private company is run by billionaire brothers Charles and David H. Koch, who are known for their extensive support of conservative causes.

    So, at present we have two bills in Congress floating around and according to the Center for Food Safety, “Already in 2014, there are more than 60 active bills in 23 states requiring labeling or prohibiting genetically engineered food.”

    It is a work in progress and may it end that the greatest transparency be given to the American citizenry–sooner than later.

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