Yesterday, Margaret Flowers, MD applauded the U.S. Senate for their decision to not include a policy rider in the must-pass federal omnibus spending bill that would have blocked states from implementing mandatory labeling laws for genetically engineered (GE) foods, also called GMOs.
"People have the right to know whether their food contains genetically modified ingredients", Flowers said. "State laws that require labeling should not be nullified by federal law. Research shows that both GE foods and glyphosate - known as RoundUp - an herbicide commonly used with GE foods that remains on the food after processing, have adverse health impacts.”
She added, “Labeling is a first step, but the United States should go further and prevent the sale of these products based on the 'precautionary principle' which means that products must be proven safe before they are allowed on the market."
Three states - Connecticut, Maine and Vermont - have passed laws requiring labeling of GE foods. Vermont’s law is scheduled to go into effect in July 2016. All three state laws would have been nullified by a blanket federal law blocking labeling. In addition, any future state that passes GE labeling legislation would have been preempted by the federal government, meaning states would not be allowed to act to protect the health of residents. In the past few years, more than thirty states have introduced bills to label GE foods. Labeling of GE foods has more than 90% support of the American people.
"Wednesday's decision by the U.S. Senate is a tremendous victory for the power of organized people against the mega-corporation Monsanto and the other big agriculture corporations," added Flowers. "If I am elected Senator, I will work to promote the precautionary principle and to protect public health."