GMO In the Know – July 19th, 2013
A wrap-up of GMO-related headlines and developments.
The Natural Products Association, which represents more than 2,000 health food, supplement and beauty companies, has officially endorsed bipartisan legislation to label genetically engineered foods, introduced by Senator Boxer and Rep. DeFazio earlier this year. The NPA is the first of its kind to endorse GE labeling legislation, citing the bill as “an important first step to address this issue that is very important to the everyday consumer.”
I-522, a ballot inititiative in Washington State to require labeling of genetically engineered foods, has already garnered strong public support and funding from organic and liberal groups. However, the same agribusiness and food industry giants that defeated Prop 37 in California last year are beginning to pour money into an opposition campaign, creating what looks to be another David vs. Goliath battle.
Both Connecticut and Maine recently passed labeling legislation; however, in order to enact the laws, surrounding states, such as New York, will have to follow suit. A public hearing has been scheduled for the end of the month by New York’s Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection to debate a bill that would require manufacturers to label genetically engineered products.
Facing tight restrictions on genetically engineered foods in the European Union, Monsanto will be withdrawing its requests for approval of seven GE maize, soybean and sugar beet crops in the coming months. Only three GE varieties have ever been given the green light for cultivation in the E.U. According to a Monsanto spokesperson, the company plans to instead focus on securing approval for GE imports to Europe from the U.S.