GMO Labeling, Freedom to Know, Gains Support in Washington
Rep. Polis to join local activists to raise awareness February 20
BOULDER – Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) is the lead co-sponsor of a federal Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labeling bill, which will require that accurate information be disclosed to consumers when food contains a genetically engineered material or is produced with such material. Following state GMO labeling efforts in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, Missouri and Washington State, this federal bill will grant consumers the right to know what they are eating.
“I am proud to help lead the GMO Labeling Bill, which is all about consumer choice and information,” said Congressman Jared Polis. “It’s important to empower people with the information they need to make their own healthy choices. People have the right to make consumer decisions based on accurate transparency in labeling, and knowledge is power.”
This event will be hosted by local food grocer, Alfalfa’s Market. Mark Retzloff, organic foods pioneer, co-founder and President of Alfalfa’s states, “As someone who has devoted his life and 43-year career to ensuring consumers have access to healthy organic foods, I think that consumers have a right to know how their food is produced, and the vast majority of consumers polled say they want to know if their food has been genetically modified. A federal labeling standard for GMO ingredients is the best choice for consumers and product manufacturers, as it provides transparency on the label and requires the same labeling standard for all manufacturers, regardless of their location or production methods.”
Genetically Modified Organisms have become an important part of our food supply, but today consumers have little ability to identify which products contain them.
- Over 50 countries around the world have significant restrictions or bans on GMO foods.
- According to a recent Washington Post article, 94% of Americans believe genetically modified foods should be labeled.
- An estimated 85 percent of U.S. corn is genetically engineered and 91 percent of soybeans.
- An estimated 70 percent of processed foods on supermarket shelves–from soda to soup, crackers to condiments–contain genetically engineered ingredients.
- The organic food business, which is under threat from the uncontained spread of GMOs, is estimated at 30 billion dollars a year in the United States
- Mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered food produced in the United States would facilitate national trade by allowing American farmers and companies to export and appropriately market their products to foreign customers.
The GMO Labeling bill:
- States that consumers have a right to know whether the food they purchase contains or was produced with genetically engineered material.
- Defines the term genetically modified organism including plants, animals and fish and requirements for labeling.
- Provides a framework of civil penalties for violations.
Congressman Polis will be hosting a public event regarding the GMO Labeling Bill at Alfalfa’s Market, 1651 Broadway Street in Boulder on February 20th at 12:30 pm.