Archive for February, 2016
29 February 2016
The Honorable Debbie Stabenow
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510-2204
Dear Senator Stabenow:
The POP Campaign is a non-profit organization focused on protecting the organic standards of our food supply, educating the public and policy makers about the importance of high quality foods and the role these foods and their nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals have on our overall well-being and the health and well-being of our children and future generations. We believe an informed consumer is an empowered consumer; that informed and supported moms and pops will ensure healthy generations of children.
We believe that a mandatory labeling provision suggested during the Agriculture Committee’s October 2015 hearing is needed.
We strongly are requesting that a mandatory labeling provision be suggested that all baby food for babies under the age of three years old be labeled GMO within three (3) years.
We agree with the vast majority of Americans and global citizens who are concerned about the dramatic reliance in our agriculture community of genetically modified crops and the associated pesticides used with them. Sadly, in the United States, soy, corn and wheat farms are almost all GMO crops. We are losing heritage crops and diversity in seed strains.
While the companies that produce genetically modified seeds and associated pesticides want legislators and the public to believe there is scientific consensus on the safety and benefit of their products; this assertion is false. Hundreds of scientists world-wide have expressed concern that GMO crops have not been proven safe for animal or human consumption and that regulators have failed to validate the safety by relaxing the safety standards in order to accommodate powerful corporate organizations with deep friendships across the political landscape.
We appreciate the stance you took in 2015 to stop the speedy advance of legislation that would entrench in law a voluntary standard for GMO food labeling, while superseding the more stringent state laws already passed. We know you will make history with a provision to minimally protect babies for generations to come.
The ‘Chairman’s Mark’ draft bill that has been posted on the Senate Agriculture Committee website is a ‘dream bill’ for industry and blatantly ignores the desires of the public. It is not fair to consumers. Consumers in the United States should be afforded the same level of information on their food labels as the 64 countries that have already mandated GMO ingredient labeling, without causing major food producers any discernible burden, or driving food prices up.
In speaking with your staff, we know you are working hard to develop a strategy for mandatory labeling, and know that a party line vote may over rule your actions on the committee. In looking for a fallback position, and because there is no scientific evidence that provides any measure of comfort to American parents on the safety of GMO food ingredients for a developing infant and toddler, we would like to suggest/request that you put forth an amendment to mandate that all infant formulas and baby/toddler foods have mandatory labeling of biotech (GMO) food ingredients.
While we want all foods to have mandatory labeling; infant formula and baby/toddler foods may be the only source of nourishment for infants and toddlers. Moms and Pops need the ability to find out if their baby’s formula, cereals and other foods were made with GMO ingredients so they can make an informed decision for their child.
Let’s give American children a chance at quality health.
Thank you for this consideration.
The POP Campaign
cc Senator Diane Feinstein
Senator Barbara Boxer
UPDATE: The Senate Ag Committee DELAY meeting to MARCH 1 to mark up a bill to preempt states’ rights and to prevent Vermont’s GMO labeling law to go into effect on July 1, 2016. We know there are Senators who will vote to label and will introduce measures….. we all need to come together to make a difference here for generations to come.