The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that 70 percent of all antibiotics administered in the US are used as feed or water additives for pigs, poultry and cattle for the non-therapeutic purposes of growth promotion and general prevention of disease. Many doctors and medical associations have expressed concern that this widespread use of antibiotics in livestock production – not for promotion of health but simply to encourage faster growth – is a dangerous practice.
As you no doubt have heard, organic food is continuing to enjoy a spectacular growth in the American marketplace. It went up over 11% last year and now accounts for more than 5% of the US food market. Organic products have been called the “fastest-growing” consumer food trend in modern history.
Many NOFA/Mass members responded to our Action Alert last month and contacted their legislators to ask them to co-sponsor HD 369, the new GMO labeling bill (the number may change soon as it goes from a House Docket number to a House Bill number). You will be pleased to hear that your work, plus that of the other members of our coalition – MASSPIRG, MoveOn.org, and MassRight2KnowGMO, has resulted in a majority of members of the Massachusetts Legislature, both House and Senate, having cosponsored the bill!
The millions of people in the United States who are actively concerned about the risks to health from consuming untested genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in virtually all processed food in this country have reasons to hope.
The coalition of groups (MassPIRG, MARighttoKnowGMOs, MoveOn.org and NOFA/Mass) that we have been a part of since 2013 to pass a mandatory GMO labeling law in Massachusetts met in August, after the close of the legislative session, to assess our impact and decide upon future efforts.
House 3996, the bill which NOFA/Mass, MassPIRG, MoveOn.org and Massachusetts Right2KnowGMO have been pushing, is gaining steam. The coalition was just joined by the Chef’s Collaborative, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability among chefs in both restaurants and institutional food service.
Things are happening on the GMO labeling front. I can’t promise you a law this year, but thanks to tremendous popular interest and support, we are beginning to make progress in the legislature.
First off, NOFA/Mass has hired a part time organizer, Amie Lindenboim, to work on this issue. She is an attorney, has been a volunteer and activist fighting GMOs for several years, and is a mother with two young children. Amie lives in Brookline and has already represented us at the State House and in area meetings.