Urging President Obama to make good on a 2007 campaign pledge for mandatory GMO labeling, more than 200 organizations and business have joined forces with congressional leaders to bring attention to the issue.
In a letter sent to the President, the group wrote: “Regardless of age, income, education level or even party affiliation, Americans want the right to choose for themselves,” the letter states. “Two state legislatures have already approved GE labeling, and more than 20 other states are considering GE labeling laws. While we will continue to support state labeling efforts, we believe there should be a national mandatory labeling system.”
In 2011, the Center for Food Safety—representing two-dozen organizations and businesses—petitioned the FDA providing a blueprint for a national mandatory labeling policy.
Along with organizations that support GMO labeling, including the Center for Food Safety, Environmental Working Group and the Just Label It campaign, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), who has championed a national labeling law for foods containing genetically modified organisms, along with other congressional leaders, held a press conference to coincide with the letter to President Obama.
“Rep. DeFazio and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), introduced common sense legislation in 2013 to compel the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to implement a mandatory labeling policy,” the Environmental Working Group said in a statement. “FDA has the authority to require food companies to disclose the presence of these novel food ingredients, and the agency has already required labeling for more than 3,000 ingredients, additives and food processes.”
“In 2007, during a campaign stop in Iowa, President Obama pledged to give Americans the right to know whether they are eating genetically engineered food,” said Food Democracy Now’s Dave Murphy, who captured then-Sen. Obama’s pledge on video. “It’s time for the President to fulfill his commitment.”
“President Obama has long argued that transparency is essential for ensuring public trust. We couldn’t agree more. American consumers want and deserve mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Relying on companies to voluntarily disclose the presence of GE ingredients is simply not enough,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for Center for Food Safety.
“In advance of this year’s State of the Union address, we urge President Obama to fulfill his commitment to require GE labeling and to add the U.S. to the list of 64 other nations that have given their consumers the right to know what is in their food,” said Ken Cook, president and cofounder of EWG. “Corporations should not be allowed to withhold this kind of information from the public.”
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