April 5, 2015
Lake County Democratic Party
P.O. Box 1151, Lakeport CA 95453
Congressman John Garamendi & Congressman Mike Thompson
RE: Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act (HR 913 Senate Bill 511)
On behalf of the Lake County Democratic Party, we are encouraged that Sen. Barbara Boxer and Rep. Peter DeFazio have introduced bills (HR 913 and Senate Bill 511) to require the clear labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods.
As your constituents, we urge you to vote YES on these bills and to add your name to the list of co- sponsors.
The Center for Food Safety states that the Act would standardize GE labeling laws passed at the state level by creating a uniform, federal labeling standard for GE foods. It would also harmonize U.S. policy with the sixty-four countries that require the labeling of GE foods, including the countries in the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, South Korea and many others. Consistent with international norms, it would only require labeling for meat or fish when it has been genetically engineered.
The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act of 2015 would create a federal standard for the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. This bill is intended to provide consumers with material information about their food, prevent consumer confusion, and resolve concerns that have been raised about the potential for a patchwork of differing state labeling standards.
The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act would:
* Require foods (including whole foods, processed foods, fish and animals) intended for human consumption to be labeled if there are produced using genetic engineering or contain 1 or more GE ingredients, by specifically requiring:
the ingredients label denote any GE ingredients in the product itself; or
a clear disclosure in the ingredient label that the food has been genetically engineered.
* Make it easier for producers, processors, and packagers to comply with labeling requirements;
* Help consumers make informed choices about the products they are buying and feeding their families by requiring that GE foods and ingredients be labeled; and
* Prevent consumer confusion by prohibiting the term “natural” to be used on food packaging containing genetically engineered ingredients because its use is misleading.
Opponents of providing consumers this basic right to information will argue that it would only confuse consumers, be costly, or imply that the products are unsafe. Yet the FDA already requires the labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives, and processes. Providing basic information doesn’t confuse the public; rather, it empowers them to make informed choices. Absent labeling, consumers will continue to be deceived by current labeling practices. For example, nearly 80% of processed foods on supermarket shelves contain GE ingredients, many marketed with labels such as “natural.”
America’s consumers must be allowed to exercise a conscious choice about the food we buy.
Please vote YES on the Boxer-DeFazio GMO labeling bills, and add your name as a co sponsor.
Chair – Lake County Democratic Party