April 24th, 2013
Companion Legislation Introduced by Senator Boxer and Congressman DeFazio with Bipartisan Support; Backed by Pending State Legislation in Over Half of U.S. States, Labeling Laws in 64 Countries
First Federal Labeling Bill Introduced in the Senate in Over a Decade
Today Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) introduced the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which would require the labeling of all genetically engineered (GE) foods at the federal level.
“Americans have the right to know about the foods they are purchasing,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director at the Center for Food Safety. “A vast majority of consumers have demanded that GE foods be labeled and without mandatory labeling American families are being left in the dark. The American public deserves the freedom of choice in their foods enjoyed by the 64 other nations that have mandatory labeling of these novel foods.”
The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act is the first federal GE labeling bill to be introduced in the Senate since 2000. The Boxer-DeFazio bill comes on the heels of the passage last month of an amendment to the Senate budget resolution to require the labeling of GE fish, introduced by Senator Begich (D-AK), who is also an original co-sponsor of this week’s labeling bill.
“Now is the time for FDA to reverse its two-decade old policy decision against labeling,” said Kimbrell. “FDA has the authority to mandate GE labeling, yet they refuse to act. We applaud Senator Boxer and Congressman DeFazio for taking action to bring FDA’s labeling policy into the 21st century,” added Kimbrell.
Senator Boxer and Congressman DeFazio were joined in this bipartisan bill by 9 Senators and 22 Representatives.
The bipartisan labeling bill has been supported by over 100 organizations and businesses including Consumers Union, Environmental Working Group, Just Label It, the National Farmers Union, Stonyfield Farms, Consumer Federation of America, AllergyKids Foundation, National Cooperative Grocers Association, New England Farmers Union, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, Center for Environmental Health, Chefs Collaborative, Label GMOs, Alaska Trollers Association, Ben & Jerry’s, Clif Bar & Company, Lundberg Family Farms, Nature’s Path, Annie’s Inc., and many others.
Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are cosponsors of the Senate bill.
Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), James Moran (D-VA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Don Young (R-AK), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), George Miller (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Ann Kuster (D-NH), and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) are cosponsors of the House bill.