Jul 272015
House Passes Bill to Prohibit States From Labelling GMOs! Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill That Prohibits Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods! Should You Decide If You Want to Eat GMOs? Ask Your Senators to Oppose Any Bill Prohibiting GMO Labels! http://act.foodandwaterwatch.org/site/MessageViewer?dlv_id=65883&em_id=58581.0 The House of Representatives passed a bill last week that will prohibit states from labelling genetically engineered foods! Can you ask your Senators to oppose any bill that tries to take away labeling for genetically engineered foods? Why is this important? Well, in poll after poll, more than 90% of people want food to be labelled if it contains genetically engineered ingredients. Several states have already passed laws requiring labelling, including Vermont, which will require labels on all foods starting next summer,unless this terrible bill passes through Congress and is signed into law by President Obama. It’s really important that your Senators hear from you, so they’re not misled by the Big Food Corporations that want to prohibit GMO labeling. The lobbyists for Big Food have been busy on Capitol Hill, and it appears that many members of Congress may be confused by the language in the “Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act.” It sounds good doesn’t it? We call it the Denying Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act). We get a lot of questions about why we need labelling for GMOs, even from staff of members of Congress! Our answers are below. We hope you’ll contact your Senators today, and give them the information below, so they can vote the right way and protect your right to know what’s in your food. Question: What is a genetically engineered food or GMO? Answer: A genetically engineered food is a plant or animal that has been changed by taking genes from one species and inserting them into the DNA of another species or altering the DNA in a way that could never happen through traditional cross-breeding or in nature. Question: Aren’t genetically engineered foods safe? Answer: The approval process for new GMO crops in the U.S. is extremely weak and relies solely on the safety tests done by the corporations that are creating these crops. Right now, most crops are approved by federal regulators under the “generally recognized as safe” provision, which means that if a GMO corn variety looks and “acts” like the non-GMO version of corn, it is approved. Question: But don’t farmers need genetically engineered foods to feed the (more…)
May 302013
By Katherine Paul Organic Consumers Association, May 30, 2013 For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page. On the eve (May 24, 2013) of a worldwide protest  against Monsanto, 71 U.S. senators (listed below) voted against an amendment to the Senate version of the 2013 Farm Bill  that would have guaranteed states the right to enact mandatory GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling laws. Seventy-one Senators voted against you, the 90 percent of consumers who have said  that you want labels on foods containing genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Seventy-one Senators – including 28 so-called liberal Democrats and 43 Republican so-called defenders of states’ rights – voted against your state’s Constitutional Tenth Amendment right to protect the health, safety and welfare of its citizens and local businesses. We know who those Senators are. And we plan to make certain that everyone who cares about food safety and food sovereignty knows who they are, too. We’ll make sure that every consumer, citizen, voter knows that last year Monsanto donated almost $6 million , more than any other company, to the agriculture lobby. And that almost $1 million of that money went directly to political candidates, including some of the 71 Senators who voted against states’ rights to label GMOs. And we will make sure that every one of those Senators knows that if they support any amendment or rider to the Farm Bill that would preempt state labeling laws, that if they fight labeling laws in any of their home states, we’ll support efforts to recall them where possible, or oppose them if recall isn’t an option. The Sanders Amendment: What and Why The Sanders amendment (S.AMDT.965) was introduced by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt). Co-sponsored by Sens. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), the amendment was intended to definitively establish that states have the right to require labeling of GE ingredients. In fact, states already have the right to enact mandatory GMO labeling laws, just as they’ve passed nearly 200 other state laws governing food safety and agriculture. State GMO labeling, and other food safety and food labeling laws, are guaranteed under the Constitution. Federal law, upheld for decades by federal court legal decisions, allows states to pass laws relating food safety or food labels when the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has no prior regulations or prohibitions in place. There is currently no federal law or FDA (more…)
Jun 192011
Bloomberg By Rudy Ruitenberg – Jun 17, 2011 The Group of 20 countries must reach an agreement at a meeting of farm ministers in Paris next week to avoid the 21st century from becoming “the century of hunger,” French Agriculture Minister Bruno Le Maire said. France, as president of the G-20 this year, is proposing a shared database on food stocks and harvests, a forum on export restrictions, emergency stocks in food-deficient countries and regulation to reduce commodity-price swings, Le Maire said. “If we’re not able to cooperate, we’re heading for a major food crisis,” Le Maire told reporters today. The G-20 has a responsibility for food security, and the world “will not understand” if the countries can’t reach a deal, he said. World food output will have to rise 70 percent by 2050 as the planet’s population climbs to 9.2 billion from an estimated 6.9 billion in 2010, theUnited Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization says. At the same time, growth in world farm production may slow to an average 1.7 percent a year through 2020, from 2.6 percent in the previous decade, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and theFAO said in their annual Agricultural Outlook report today. “The crisis isn’t tomorrow, the crisis is now,” Le Maire said at a conference of international farm organizations in the French capital. “We don’t know how to correctly feed the world population. We therefore are all responsible for finding the solution.” ‘Crucial’ Decisions “All the countries of the G-20 will have to assume their responsibility for taking crucial decisions for world agriculture,” Le Maire said. Governments can choose either “international solidarity” or “egoism,” he said. The three “especially sensitive points” of the French G-20 proposal are transparency on stocks and production, “because it raises very big questions about national sovereignty,” as well as financial regulation of agricultural- commodity markets and export restrictions, Le Maire told reporters. “The Chinese consider that being transparent on production and stocks, when you have 1.4 billion people to feed, risks showing a weakness or difficulty to the world,” Le Maire said. “The European countries, in terms of transparency, are not good pupils. Many don’t want to disclose their stocks.” At the start of negotiations about a year ago, the U.K. and Australia had reservations about market regulation, the U.S. was worried that emergency food stocks might affect their capacity to export and Brazil and Argentina were concerned that the G-20 nations would (more…)
May 242011
U.S. must do more for food security By: Catherine Bertini and Dan Glickman May 24, 2011 09:16 AM EDT How do you feed 10 billion people? It is not just a humanitarian question, but a vital U.S. national security imperative. A recent U.N. report projects a 46 percent population increase by 2100. Africa, home to more than a quarter of the world’s undernourished people and more than 20 violent conflicts in the past half century, is predicted to more than double its population. We must not only consider how to feed all of these people — but what it means if we can’t. Food commodity prices are at record highs, leading to instability in already volatile regions. The Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review warns that factors like “climate change will contribute to food and water scarcity” even more in future, leading to “further weakening of fragile governments.” Clearly, there is reason for the U.S. to get even more aggressive in addressing global food security. Food supply stresses represent an increasing national security threat and are not going away. These increasing food prices are one likely catalyst of the Middle East upheaval. Last August, for example, Russia banned all wheat exports — including 600,000 tons of outstanding Egyptian orders. Egyptian food prices spiked dramatically – in a country where food is already 38 percent of consumer expenditures, compared to 13 percent in the U.S. Washington cannot allow food insecurity to exacerbate instability in already volatile regions. We are not doing all that must be done. U.S. policymakers are taking the right, first steps, according to our new report, but more resources as well as long-term commitment are needed. We are issuing a report card on U.S. efforts to alleviate global hunger and poverty through agricultural development programs. Washington received an overall grade of just B-. The U.S. has earned praise since 2009 for progress on USAID effectiveness, interagency coordination and support for agricultural education and infrastructure, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. But Washington still lacks strong efforts to reform policies impeding the development of global sustainable agricultural infrastructure. These include failures to repeal restrictions on aid that might lead to exports of certain commodities or change policy on subsidies that reduce the cost of farming inputs, like seed and fertilizer. We also need to address the continuing biofuels policy — which encourages growth of food crops for fuel. America’s efforts to build partnerships between (more…)