Target: Massachusetts Senator James Welch, Chair, Joint Committee on Health Care Financing
Goal: Pass a law to ensure that all foods sold that contain genetically modified or engineered ingredients would be clearly labeled
A bill that would require manufacturers to clearly label genetically modified or engineered ingredients is currently gaining momentum in Massachusetts. If signed into law, it would ensure that all foods sold in the state would be clearly labeled and allow consumers to make informed decisions about the food they eat. The bill must now pass the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing before the full Senate and House of Representatives can vote on it. Urge Sen. James Welch, the committee’s chair, to support the initiative and expedite the process to ensure the labeling law goes into effect.
Genetically modified foods are produced from organisms whose genetic material has been altered using engineering techniques. Despite claims made by food manufacturers that genetically modified and engineered ingredients are safe, scientific research has shown otherwise. Pesticides that have been crossbred with common crops such as wheat and corn pose risks to both animals living near agricultural sites and humans who ingest the food.
Several states in the northeast are addressing the need to label genetically modified and engineered foods. Maine and Connecticut have already passed laws, and other states are actively pursuing legislation. Massachusetts Right to Know GMOs, a nonprofit organization, and State Representative Lori Ehrlich are campaigning hard to make the law a reality and have been key to the bill’s success. Organic farmers and retailers have joined with thousands of others across the state to demand a more transparent food supply.
Consumers want to know what they are eating. According to a recent poll conducted by The New York Times, 93 percent of Americans support labeling foods containing genetically modified or engineered ingredients. This labeling is a simple way to allow consumers to make informed choices.
The public has shown strong support for labeling laws in Massachusetts, reflecting a larger national trend. Join the thousands of people who have already demanded more transparency in our food supply. Sign the petition below and urge that the new labeling law takes effect.
Dear Sen. Welch,
I am writing to urge you to support a food labeling bill that was recently sent to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. The Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture passed the labeling bill out of committee and now it us up to you, as Chair of Health Care Financing, to oversee the next step of the process.
Consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing to eat. A law requiring manufacturers to clearly label genetically modified or engineered foods should be enacted so that people can maintain control over one of life’s most basic functions, procuring and ingesting food for survival.
Scientific research has shown that genetically modified and engineered food poses many health risks to humans. These ingredients have been linked to an array of diseases and chronic health problems, including cancer. According to several national polls, an overwhelming majority of the population wants more transparency in our food supply.
I urge you to support the food labeling bill and ensure that the full House and Senate of Massachusetts has the opportunity to vote on it. Consumers have a right to make informed decisions about what they eat and feed to their families.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dungodung via Wikimedia Commons