New legislation affecting GMOs


By Catherine Haug, December 14, 2011

Image, right, from Organic Consumers’ Association.

In my opinion, there is good news on the horizon regarding GMOs. Rep. Dennis Kucinich has introduced two new bills affecting GMOs:

  • HR3553  would mandate GMO labeling, and
  • HR3554 would provide stricter safety protections for genetically engineered (GE) products.

To learn more about these bills, refer to ANH Action Alert: GMO Legislation, or see below. If you support for these bills, you can take action on the ANH Action Alert: GMO Legislation website. Alternately, whether you support or oppose these bills:

For more of my articles on GMOs, see ESP Topics: GMO. For more on the two proposed bills, read on.

From ANH Action Alert: GMO Legislation:

“==> GMO Labeling: HR 3553, the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, already has twelve co-sponsors (and bipartisan support). The bill requires labeling of all genetically engineered organisms—including fish, which is especially important since GM salmon approval seems imminent. For animals and animal products, the bill would also require disclosure if the animal has been fed GMO.

==> GMO Safety: HR 3554, the Genetically Engineered Safety Act, currently has two co-sponsors: Rep. Raul Grijalva and Rep. Fortney “Pete” Stark. It has a number of excellent provisions:

  • Prohibits open-air cultivation of genetically engineered pharmaceutical and industrial crops, to prevent cross-pollination and contamination;
  • Prohibits the use of common human food or animal feed as the host plant for a genetically engineered pharmaceutical or industrial chemical; and
  • Establishes a tracking system to regulate the growing, handling, transportation, and disposal of GE pharmaceutical and industrial crops and their by-products.

As we noted in November, the FDA is still reviewing the application for approving GE salmon. The House voted to stop funding the research on the fish but the Senate has not, and it seems a foregone conclusion that FDA will approve the salmon since USDA is funding it.

Rep. Kucinich’s bills will fix huge legal loopholes. Current laws require no oversight for GE products—and of course no labeling requirements. There is also a huge data gap regarding the safety of genetically engineered foods, as the few safety studies that have been done have all been sponsored by industry.”

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