FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Thursday, March 27, 2014
Paul Towers, Pesticide Action Network, 916-216-1082; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Allayaud, Environmental Working Group, 916-601-9280
Austin Price, CALPIRG, 916-448-4516
California Moms Celebrate As GMO Labeling Bill Passes First Committee
Sacramento, Calif. – Mothers from across the state and others concerned about consumer choice traveled to Sacramento today to renew the push to label genetically modified foods (GMOs) in California and celebrated a victory as the bill passed its first hurdle yesterday.
SB 1381 (Evans), which would require GMOs to be labeled, faces strong opposition from large biotech corporations and industrial food manufacturers.
“Regardless about how you feel about GMOs, consumers want and need to make informed decisions,” said Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa). “Labeling GMOs allows individuals to make informed choices for themselves and their families.”
“This bill is a straight-forward, common-sense approach to empowering consumers,” continued Evans. “If the product contains GMOs, label it. We shouldn’t be hiding that. Moreover, consumer choice is the cornerstone to our free-market society.”
“We applaud the California Senate Health Committee for taking the first step toward providing information to millions of Californians so that we can take control of what we eat and feed our families, whether its for health, religious, environmental, or ethical reasons,” said Rebecca Spector, West Coast director of the Center for Food Safety.
Susan Lang, a Sacramento area mother of two who testified to the Senate Health Committee today, said:
“In 64 countries around the world, moms have the right to read a label and know whether the food they serve is from genetically engineered crops, which are often laden with pesticides. California mothers also deserve the right to know about GMOs. We’re the ones responsible for choosing what to feed our kids, not the government or the pesticide companies.”
“The US Food and Drug Administration is out of step with the global consensus on GMOs. Most of our trading partners require safety studies and already label genetically engineered foods,” said Michael Hansen, PhD, senior scientist at Consumers Union. “This is a clear-cut consumer choice issue: We have the right to choose whether we eat genetically engineered foods.”
The bill passed the Senate Health Committee 5-2 and will now move to the Rules Committee in order for the bill to be assigned to the next policy committee.
Senators Evans, Beall, DeSaulnier, Monning, and Wolk voted in favor of the bill with Chair Hernandez and Senator Anderson opposing. Senators de Leon and Nielsen did not vote.
Californians for GE Food Labeling is a coalition of organizations, businesses, and networks, including Biosafety Alliance, Californians for Pesticide Reform, California State Grange, CALPIRG, Center for Food Safety, Consumers Union, Environmental Working Group, Food Democracy Now!, Food and Water Watch, Friends of the Earth – US, Good Earth Natural Foods, LabelGMOs.org, Moms Advocating Sustainability, Organic Consumers Association, Pesticide Action Network North America and Pesticide Watch, dedicated to giving California families informed choices about their food.