For Immediate Release
Consumers Demand Right To Know
93% of Americans Support Labeling Genetically Modified Foods
WASHINGTON - Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement calling for labeling laws to inform consumers which foods are genetically modified. A ballot initiative in California may soon give consumers in that state a chance to demand information. Congressman Kucinich is the author of H.R. 3553, the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act which would require nationwide labeling.
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“The Union of Concerned Scientists defines genetic engineering as a set of technologies that are used to change the genetic makeup of cells and move genes across species boundaries to produce new organisms. By using genetic engineering, scientists can cause a plant or animal to produce a compound or trait that would not occur naturally. Every day, millions of people unknowingly eat many different genetically engineered foods, including sweet corn, soybeans, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa and zucchini. Right now these foods are not required to be labeled and are often misleadingly advertised as ‘natural.’
“In fact, according to the Grocery Manufacturing Association, an estimated 75 to 80 percent of processed food in the United States contains genetically engineered ingredients. No notice is given to consumers.
“Independent studies show that genetically engineering food can create new, unintended toxicants and increase allergens and other health problems. For example, in 2011, Canadian researchers found that 93 percent of blood samples from pregnant women and 80 percent of fetal cord blood samples contained a toxin found in a type of genetically engineered corn that produces its own pesticide. By labeling genetically engineered food, we can help determine whether these foods are causing any health problems and give consumers the power to decide if they wish to avoid them.
“Fifty one countries already require labeling of genetically engineered foods, including the European Union countries, Japan and China. In a November, 2010 Reuters poll, 93 percent of respondents supported the labeling of genetically engineered foods.
“Transparency is fundamental in a democratic society, because transparency gives us the freedom to choose what to eat and feed our families. Americans deserve the right to make fully-informed choices about their food. Americans deserve to be protected from allowing those decisions to be made for them by the very companies who profit from keeping families in the dark. Californians may soon get that transparency. So should the rest of America.”