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Make a holiday visit to your legislator on GMOs in MA

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2015 December Issue Newsletter

By Jack Kittredge

Holidays are all about food. For many of us, some of our fondest memories are of the smells and tastes of holiday fare, while gathered around the table with the family.

That is why the holidays are a natural time to think about food – who raises it, how it is raised, and what is in it.

But Americans are discovering that often our food is not what it seems. Colors, textures and tastes can be added artificially. Even worse, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and fertilizers may be used to raise it. Worst of all, the actual genetic material of the crop may be altered in a laboratory, resulting in a GMO or genetically modified organism.

As most of you know, NOFA/Mass has spent the last year engaged, with other groups, in a fight to require that GMO foods sold in Massachusetts be labeled so that consumers know what they are buying. This idea is so popular that majorities in both houses of the legislature have signed on to support this bill, House 3242.

But that bill has not had a chance to let those majorities vote on it. The bill is bottled up in the Joint Committee on Agriculture even though 300 people turned out for the hearing over 2 months ago.

The legislature goes on recess for Thanksgiving and won’t come back until early January. Wouldn’t the holidays be a nice time to pay a nice neighborly visit to your state representative or senator? Thank him or her for their support (almost all of them have signed on) and ask what can be done to move GMO labeling legislation forward to a vote.

If you don’t see your legislator at the dump or in the grocery store, get a few friends together and schedule a visit when they have office hours in the district. The local paper will publish that schedule.

If you need to find out who your rep is, visit https://malegislature.gov/People/Search and enter your zip code.

If there are a few requests like that during the holidays and when the session starts up again January the legislators will return to work with the message that GMOs need to be labeled. The word will reach the House leadership that they need to let this bill go to a floor vote.

Happy Holidays!

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