In yet another move against Monsanto, legislation was introduced on January 15th in Rhode Island which calls for the labeling of any foods created using genetically engineered ingredients. The bill would effectively place a label
on any food containing GMOs, stating “produced with genetic engineering,” and would specify what the term ‘genetically engineered product’ means.
Passing of the bill would be a victory in the battle for our food supply, though it doesn’t quite cover all the grounds yet. Under Hull’s proposed legislation, the following would reportedly not be required to be labeled:
Food provided in any restaurant
Farm products sold by a farmer
Food-derived from a non-genetically modified animal fed or injected with engineered foods or drugs
Rep. Dennis Canario also introduced legislation on genetically modified organisms. Rep. Raymond Hull said he would “probably join forces” with Canario and his bill, though he added that only his own bill addresses concerns such as liquor companies’ use of genetically modified corn in producing alcohol – which would be revisited after the bill is passed.
Could Rhode Island’s bill be the catalyst for the live action of other GMO bills proposed around the country? Similar bills have been passed in states such as Maine and Connecticut, but nee to be ‘triggered.’ In other words, they will not take effect until comparable legislation is passed in other states.
For the bills to take effect, other states need to pass their own GMO labeling initiatives. Maine, for example, requires 5 nearby states to pass similar legislation, and Connecticut requires GMO bills to be passed in more Northeastern states that make up a combined population of 20 million.
As the bill heads to the state legislature’s Commerce Committee, it’s clear in virtually all polls that over 97% of the United States population wants to know what they’re eating — and Minnesota is no different.
While Monsanto and other biotech companies continue to tout the safety of GMOs, countless other scientists (even those who were formerly pro-GMO) have voiced very real concerns. Along with 800 other scientists voicing concerns of potential GMO dangers, the head of the Council for Responsible Genetics for more than 30 years and a former fan of GMOs is now not so sure how safe they truly are. He says that one negative finding regarding risks of GMOs weighs ten times more than any positive study since most of the studies ‘proving GMO safety’ are funded by the industry, and often turn out to be false.
Though not anti-GMO, he believes that the industry has been negligent in telling the truths regarding these relatively recent creations.