Let States Label Genetically Modified Food

Target: House Speaker John Boehner and members of Congress

Goal: Don’t let biotechnology company Monsanto prohibit states from requiring labels on genetically engineered foods

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) has released information that Monsanto is yet again manipulating Congress to discretely attach an amendment in its interests to the 2013 Farm Bill. This amendment would preempt or prohibit states from requiring labels on genetically engineered (GE) foods.  In response to this blatant violation of states’ rights to legislate, and consumers’ right to know what is in their food, concerned citizens must take action. Demand that Congress does not support a Farm Bill amendment that would nullify states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

This amendment is another “Monsanto Rider”, similar to the other rider recently passed by Congress as part of the Senate Continuing Resolution spending bill, which limited federal courts’ power to stop Monsanto from planting unproven, potentially dangerous GMO crops. This amendment is part of the Farm Bill, inserted under the guise of protecting interstate commerce, passed out of the House Agricultural Committee. This so-called King Amendment, authored by Rep. Steve King of Iowa, would take away states’ rights to pass laws governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product, including food and animals raised for food, that is involved in interstate commerce. Policy analysts emphasize that the amendment, broadly and ambiguously written, could be used to prohibit or preempt any state GMO labeling or food safety law.

Monsanto has failed so far to stop GE food labeling at the state level and as a result, many states are aggressively moving forward on labeling laws. Both Maine and Vermont have passed GMO labeling laws despite massive lobbying by Monsanto. In California, Monsanto barely won the fight against GMO labeling and now Washington state will likely pass a law in November. The King Amendment threatens to take away state rights to make these laws.  Congress cannot be permitted to fail to heed the will of the people and must respect state sovereignty over food labels, food safety laws, and consumers’ right to know.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear House Speaker John Boehner and members of Congress,

The proposed King Amendment to the 2013 Farm Bill, if passed, would take away states’ rights to pass laws governing the production or manufacture of any agricultural product, including food and animals raised for food, that is involved in interstate commerce. Policy analysts have made it clear that this amendment, broadly and ambiguously written, could be used to prohibit or preempt any state GMO labeling or food safety law.

This proposed amendment is a blatant violation of states’ rights to legislate, and consumers’ right to know. Congress cannot be permitted to fail to heed the will of the people, who through state legislation and civic activism have made it clear they do not want to be deceived by large biotech companies and take control over their own health and consumer choices. This petition demands that Congress does not support a Farm Bill amendment that would nullify states’ rights to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

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One Comment

  1. Martin Luther King Jr. is quoted as saying, “Never, never be afraid to do what’s right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society’s punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.”

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