NOFA/Mass supports mandatory, on-label identification of genetically engineered (“GE,” aka “GMO”) foods. In the absence of federal action, we have been working to pass a GMO labeling bill at the state level.
H.4156, An Act Establishing the Genetic Engineering Transparency Food Labeling Act, would benefit Massachusetts farmers and consumers, allowing the free market to operate by providing them with the information they need to make their own informed decisions about the food they eat and seeds they grow, based on their own environmental, economic, religious, health, cultural, and ethical reasons. There is simply no credible reason to deny consumers this factual information.
The fact is, genetically engineered crops have failed to provide the promised increase in productivity, resistance to drought and disease, and reduction in pesticide use. The singular focus of transgenic research has led to the neglect of other more conventional plant breeding strategies. The most widely planted GMO crops have led to skyrocketing rates of pesticide use, very likely to the detriment of both human health and the environment. By contaminating non-GMO crops or threatening to do so, GMO agriculture has placed special burdens on organic agriculture.
With Monsanto trying to bully Vermont and stop them from labeling GMOs this summer, NOW is the time to stand with them. The bill which was released has some good and bad in it and we need your help to ensure passage of the strongest possible version.
The good news is that the bill requires mandatory GMO food labeling on most packaged goods.
The bad news is that the bill, as currently written, would make it practically impossible to implement any time soon. The Environment/Agriculture committee added a “trigger clause,” a provision that would delay implementation until certain criteria are met. If Vermont can implement their GMO labeling law with no trigger, so can Massachusetts!