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Rhode Island lawmakers introduce GMO labeling legislation


GMO labeling

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(NaturalNews) In January, the state of Rhode Island introduced legislation that would require genetically modified organisms to be labeled, an exciting step in the fight for the Right to Know campaign, a grassroots movement dedicated to obtaining the basic right of knowing what's in our food.

Rhode Island's proposed legislation is particularly crucial to the overall end goal of the campaign for GMO-labeling due to similar legislation moving forward in nearby states.

In January 2014, Maine became the second state to require labels on food containing genetically modified ingredients. However, the victory came with a catch -- five other nearby states must follow suit, including New Hampshire -- for the law to go into effect.

Rhode Island's recent decision to require GMO labeling puts Maine one step closer to being able to do the same

Connecticut enacted GMO labeling in 2013 under the contingency that at least four other states do the same, or any combination of Northeast states totaling 20 million people must adopt similar laws in order for the new regulations to take effect.

In May 2014, the Vermont state legislature voted to require GMO labeling that would go into effect in 2016, the first state to pass such a law with no contingencies. Unfortunately, the victory was not met without opposition.

Vermont is now being sued by the Grocery Manufacturers Association -- which is funded by a coalition of companies including Coca-Cola, Unilever, Starbucks and Monsanto -- and three other industry groups, reports Al Jazeera.

The outcome will likely set the precedence for other states trying to pass and uphold GMO labeling laws.

Fourth time's a charm for GMO labeling in Rhode Island

This year is not the first time Rhode Island lawmakers introduced a GMO labeling bill; in fact, Rep. Raymond Hull says he has proposed this same bill for four years.

"I've introduced this bill for four years," Hull said. "It gets just so far and then it stops. But there is more momentum now than there has been in the past. We're very optimistic."

The legislation will require genetically engineered products in Rhode Island to be clearly labeled "produced with genetic engineering" and would also specify what the term genetically engineered product means in the state. Rhode Island currently has multiple definitions for the term.

The Brown Daily Herald, a media outlet for Brown University, reported on Rhode Island's proposed GMO legislation while in the same breath noting that studies have proven that GMOs have a higher nutritional content, a "note" which we all know is false. Organic crops, in fact, have been shown to have higher nutrient contents than chemically grown crops.

The biotech industry claims GMOs are higher in nutritional content due to their ability to genetically engineer crops to contain higher vitamin content; however, the same can be achieved using traditional, less-intrusive, crossbreeding techniques.

Using traditional crossbreeding methods, scientists have also been able to create crops that are resistant to salt water, tough against droughts and produce above-average yield without the use of fertilizers or pesticides.

Why GMO crops can't possibly be healthier for us

It's difficult to believe that consuming crops that are genetically engineered to withstand high doses of Monsanto's Roundup are healthier for us, especially when considering the proven health effects of the primary ingredient in Roundup -- glyphosate.

Glyphosate pretty much sucks the life out of everything it touches, so why would food be any different?

Chronic toxicity or long-term exposure to glyphosate has been linked to a multitude of chronic diseases including Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, lymphoma and other health problems. And that's not even considering the "inert" ingredients which increase glyphosate's toxicity.

Surely, these risks outweigh the supposed benefits of crops genetically engineered to contain more vitamins.

Published in the journal Entropy, scientists detailed how glyphosate interferes with biochemical pathways, or the shikimate pathway found in the gut bacteria of humans, leaving us more vulnerable to depression, autism, inflammatory bowel disease and other complications.

Describing the effects of glyphosate, the Entropy article states: "Negative impact on the body is insidious and manifests slowly over time."

Sources:

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://grist.org

http://www.washingtonpost.com

http://www.browndailyherald.com

http://www.cornucopia.org

http://america.aljazeera.com

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