Regardless of whether the Republicans or Democrats occupy the White House, federal regulatory officials continue to disregard concerns about genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), and stonewall all efforts to mandate proper GMO labeling. As a result, individual states are having to craft their own GMO labeling legislation, including a new bill recently introduced in Washington State that would mandate GMO labeling beginning in 2014.
The Epoch Times reports that Washington State Senator Maralyn Chase has sponsored a new bill that would require both raw GMOs and processed foods containing GMOs to be properly labeled beginning July 2014. Any food product containing GMOs will have to bear a list outlining which ingredients are natural and which ingredients are GMO. Several other GMO labeling bills have also been introduced in the state legislature.
“People have the right to know what they’re eating,” said Sen. Chase about her bill. She has reportedly been working for years to address the GMO labeling issue, noting that it is a “question of transparency and accountability.”
PCC Natural Markets reports that legislators from both sides of the aisle in Washington State are in support of several farmer-authored GMO labeling bills. After all, farmers trying to sell non-GMO crops, especially overseas, bear the brunt of not having GMOs labeled because their foreign market potential becomes greatly limited.
Of particular concern is the potential future approval of GM wheat, much of which would be grown in Eastern Washington. Farmers there are concerned that, if approved, GM wheat will ruin their foreign market potential since most other industrialized nations require GMO labeling, or flat out reject GMO imports. Japan, for instance, has already said it will reject GM wheat from the US, should it be approved.
Back in early 2011, more than 1,200 Eastern Washington farmers signed a petition brought before the state legislature to require GMO labeling. This “Committee to Safe Farm Markets” has tried for years to get the attention of legislators about GMO labeling, but to no avail.
As we reported previously, similar GMO labeling efforts are currently underway in California. Backed by a coalition that includes Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap, Nature’s Path, Eden Foods, Lundberg, Organic Valley, and United Natural Foods, a GMO labeling initiative in California is moving forward with roughly 80 percent support among polled Californians.