In New York State, a coalition that includes GMOFree NY, NOFA-NY, Food and Water Watch, Hunger Action, Consumers Union, NYPIRG and the Sierra Club is campaigning for a newly rewritten state labeling law – A 3525 – S 3835. This bill will require that all genetically engineered food offered for retail sale in New York be labeled as such.
At this time, people in the United States have no way of knowing whether the foods we buy are Genetically Engineered (GE) or contain GE ingredients because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require labeling of GE foods, even though it has full powers to do so. The FDA requires food producers to put labels on products with nutrition facts, ingredients, vitamins, and the presence of known allergens (e.g., milk, soy, and nuts), but does not believe we need to know whether our food contains genetically modified ingredients. Neither does the government of NYS.
A groundswell of energy to push to label GE foods is underway across the country. Since the 2012 defeat of Proposition 37 in California – an initiative that was drowned by a flood of corporate money – labeling initiatives are underway in over 30 states and at the federal level.
The states of Vermont, Maine and Connecticut have passed labeling bills. We all have the right to know what is in our food and the right to make informed choices about what we choose to eat. Let’s make this happen.
The NYS Assembly Consumer Protection and Affairs Committee voted for A3525/SB. The next steps are the Assembly Codes Committee and the Senate. You can help NY join Connecticut, Maine and Vermont in passing GE labeling. GE labeling for the whole country will be next.