Sunday, May 25, 2014


California GMO labeling bill advances to Senate floor   
SUNDAY, 25 MAY 2014 01:11 EDITOR

California consumers, environmental and food safety groups celebrated on Friday as the Senate Appropriations Committee passed SB 1381 (Evans) with a 5-2 vote.

The bill now goes to the floor for a full Senate vote by May 30.

“California is on its way to joining several states and 64 countries by labeling GMOs in our foods,” said Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa). “Overwhelmingly in California and the nation, consumers simply want to know what is in the foods they eat and feed their families. This bill responds to those concerns.”

Senate Bill 1381 would require GMOs to be labeled in all foods produced for human consumption.

The bill has faced strong and well-funded opposition from large biotech corporations and industrial food manufacturers like Monsanto and Hershey’s.

The issue has garnered massive attention and support in the last few years with 93% of Americans polling in support for labeling protections in 2013.

Last week, Russia banned the import of GMO products likely harming US farmers seeking to sell their crops on the international market.

"We congratulate Senator Evans for championing consumers' right to know if their food is genetically modified,” said Elisa Odabashian, West Coast Director of Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports. “We urge the Senate to pass this measure so that Californians can make more informed choices about the food they purchase for their families."

The news from California is the latest development in a string of successes that show momentum is building across the country for the right to know about GMOs.

On May 9, Vermont became the first state in the nation to label GMOs. On Thursday, in the US Senate, a bipartisan amendment to label GMO salmon passed the Appropriations Committee and will be voted on by the full US Senate. And Oregon just announced efforts to collect signatures for a November ballot initiative to label GMOs.

“This bill is a straight-forward, common-sense approach to empowering consumers,” continued Evans. “If the product contains GMOs, label it. We shouldn’t be hiding ingredients. Moreover, consumer choice is the cornerstone to our free-market society.”

Evans is the chair of the Senate Banking & Finance Committee and represents the Second Senatorial District, including all or portions of the counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Marin (caretaker), Napa, Solano and Sonoma.


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