Originally published February 9 2013
GMO labeling bill killed by state Senate -- but the fight has just begun
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A bill that would have amended the New Mexico Food Act and Commercial Feed Law to require that all food intended for human or animal consumption that contains genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) be properly labeled has officially been killed. As reported by the New Mexico Telegram (NMT), Senate Bill 18 died after Senator Stuart Ingle, a Republican from Portales, requested that the original committee report on the bill be re-routed through the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee before being sent to the Senate Judiciary Committee where it was originally intended to go.
This odd request by Sen. Ingle appears to have been directly intended to kill the bill, as legislation typically dies during a session if it has to pass through three different committees before being voted on by the legislature. Though it is within the Senate's rules to redirect legislation after it has already been evaluated by a committee, it is highly unusual and "not how things are traditionally done in the chamber," according to NMT. The only real explanation as to why the move was initiated, in other words, is that Sen. Ingle, and perhaps others, did not want to risk its potential passage.
"SB 18 (gmo labeling) is dead," announced Sen. Peter Wirth, a Democrat from Sante Fe, from his Twitter account recently. Sen. Wirth introduced and sponsored SB 18 and has been actively working to build support for its passage. "Under Senate Rules, action taken by Senate to reject SPAC (Senate Public Affairs Committee) committee report means bill 'deemed lost.'"
Continued stonewalling of GMO labeling laws actually fueling efforts to pass them in near futureIn a follow-up tweet, Sen. Wirth added that the Senate voted down SB 18 in a 23 to 17 floor vote, which means it will no longer be considered during the current legislative session. At the same time; however, he is optimistic that growing public support for GMO labeling at both the state and national levels will continue to build momentum for future GMO labeling efforts. It is only a matter of time, in other words, before the tipping point is reached, and the people decide that enough is enough.
"The huge public support for labeling GMO food tells me this discussion is not going to stop," Sen. Wirth brandished in a tweet.
Meanwhile, environmental and health freedom groups in Hawaii, Washington, Vermont, and elsewhere are pushing their state legislatures to take GMO labeling seriously. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, lawmakers in Hawaii are currently grappling with a GMO labeling initiative in their state, while a House Agriculture Committee in Vermont is in the process of evaluating a similar bill that would mandate GMO labeling at the retail level.
"GMOs pose direct and indirect threats to the health of people and the environment, and can contaminate neighboring farms, voiding organic certification," explains Tilth Producers of Washington about the importance of labeling GMOs. Initiative 522 in Washington state will also require GMO labeling, if passed. "Consumers currently have little recourse to avoid [GMOs] because it's hard to tell which food products are genetically engineered and which aren't."
To learn more about the dangers of GMOs, visit:
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