Originally published August 11 2015
Texas GMO labeling bill now in Public Health Committee
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) A measure introduced in the Texas legislature to require labeling for all foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) remains in the Committee on Public Health and has not been disposed of, meaning the bill still has a chance of surviving so it can be voted on by the full House and Senate.
The measure, HB 3499, was first introduced in March by state Rep. Carol Alvarado. As of August 5, records show that the Public Health panel had not vacated the measure.
Support for GMO labeling has been rising steadily around the country, as more Americans demand truth-in-labeling laws that include descriptions of all ingredients, much to the chagrin – and opposition – of Big Food.
"We need to be more transparent about the food we sell to consumers," Alvarado said at the time she introduced her bill. "It is time for Texas to put Texans first and provide them with the information they need so they can make informed decisions about the food they consume."
Bipartisan support but not food industry support
She noted that other states such as Connecticut, Maine and Vermont, as well as 64 countries around the world, have already passed GMO labeling requirements. According to Your Houston News, a recent Associated Press—GfK poll found that 66 percent of respondents were supportive of GMO labeling, and that the support was overwhelmingly bipartisan; both Democrats and Republicans support the change.
Genetically modified organisms are concoctions in which DNA from one or more unrelated species is added to the DNA of a target crop so that it demonstrates a desired trait (like producing pesticides or withstanding herbicides). But a growing number of studies have raised awareness and concern over the widespread use of GMO foods and crops, as well as the associated pesticides, and their long-term effect on humans and the environment.
Also, there have been some studies that have established links between GMO foods and untoward health impacts including allergies, immune system disorders and organ toxicity.
"GMO labeling is vital to providing accurate information for consumers to make a choice as to whether or not they want to consume these foods," said Judith McGeary, Executive Director of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. "A consumer purchasing salmon expects to bring home salmon, not genetically engineered salmon spliced with an eel-like species."
Increasingly, more farmers agree.
"As an organic and non-GMO cotton farmer, I support GMO labeling. I am very proud of the certified USDA organic label my fiber and food crops receive, so why can't GMO farmers and food companies be proud of their respective food crops? People can make their own choice whether they will purchase food or fiber products with genetically-modified ingredients," Eric Hem, a fourth generation farmer from West Texas, told Your Houston News.
For more news on GMO labeling and GMOs in foods, check out GMOFood.news, powered by FETCH.news.
'What's wrong with letting people know what's in their food?'
As we have reported, a number of states have either passed, or attempted to pass, legislation requiring the labeling of GMO ingredients in all foods. Vermont became the first state to pass such a measure.
But at every turn, Big Food and its lobbying arms such as the Grocery Manufacturers Association, as well as agriculture and biotechnology companies like GMO king Monsanto, have opposed such measures. And in recent days, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that would prevent states from enacting their own GMO labeling laws – but still not require food companies to divulge GMO ingredients.
"The reality is, biotechnology has time and time again proved safe," the bill's corrupt sponsor, Kansas Republican Rep. Mike Pompeo, said in Congress. "We should not raise prices on consumers based on the wishes of a handful of activists." [NB: Studies have proven that adding a few words to food labels indicating whether they include GMOs would not increase food prices much, if at all.]
"What's the problem with letting consumers know what they are buying?" countered Vermont Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat, as reported by CBS News.
The food industry has stated that about 75 to 80 percent of food products currently sold in the U.S. contain GMOs.
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