December 9, 2016

Voting Next Week? See How Your Legislators View Food Safety

Food Policy Action released its National Food Scorecard for the 114th Congress earlier this month. Overall scores increased by six points since the last Congress, but there is little progress on major food policy in the last two years. Chef Tom Colicchio, Food Policy Action co-founder and advocate said in a statement, "this year's Scorecard shows that Congress owes the American public much better leadership on these issues. Food is connected to every critical issue facing our nation - everything from our health, economy, and immigration, to labor and the environment. And yet, there has been very little attention to bringing transparency and accountability to that discussion." The Senate was graded on 10 votes and 12 bills, and the House was graded on 16 votes and 15 bills. … [Read more...]

Slaughter Wins U.S. House Race

Representative Louise Slaughter, the only microbiologist in Congress who has a Master's degree in public health, won her race against Mark Assini, who conceded Wednesday. Slaughter is a food safety advocateĀ and a sponsor of PAMTA (Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act). Slaughter said in a statement, "It's gratifying to be re-elected for another term so that I can continue fighting for the community I love and am honored to represent. Like I said during this campaign, Washington might not be working, but I sure am, and I'm glad to continue that work." PAMTA is designed to reduce the number of antibiotics that are used in the production of farm animals. Massive scientific evidence shows that this overuse of antibiotics, especially in sub therapeutic ways, contributes … [Read more...]

GMO Labeling Defeated in Elections; Slaughter Too Close to Call

Voters in Colorado defeated a GMO labeling initiative on the ballot last night, and it looks like Oregon's initiative will be defeated too, although the vote is very close. Even though labeling enjoys overwhelming support in opinion polls, that support will not translate into actual progress. The United States and Canada are the only major countries in the world that do not require labeling of genetically engineered foods. And the only microbiologist in Congress, Louise Slaughter, is ahead of her opponent by just a few hundred votes. Slaughter is a vocal supporter of food safety issues in the U.S. House. Rep. Slaughter is also a defender of medically important antibiotics and wants the FDA to restrict the sub therapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals. GMO (genetically modified … [Read more...]

GMO Labeling Law Loses in Washington

The GMO labeling ballot initiative was defeated in Tuesday's voting. The initiative, I-522, would have made manufacturers label foods made from genetically engineered (GE) and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Washington state voting is done by mail, so votes will be counted until December 5, 2013. Yes on 522 is currently behind by almost 8 points and unlikely to make up the difference. And just like the fight for Prop 37 in California, early polls indicated strong support for the initiative, which declined after a media campaign blitz by corporations. Other states that have labeling laws include Connecticut and Maine, but those laws will not go into effect until five other states have passed similar laws. Next year, which is an election year, more than 20 other states may have GMO … [Read more...]

Yes on Prop 37 Addresses Myths and Facts

Stacy Malkan of California Right to Know 2012 recently sent us a fact sheet to address some of the questions about Proposition 37. That ballot initiative would require food companies to label foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) or genetically engineered foods (GE). While No on 37 has stated that the American Medical Association has said GE foods are safe, they do not mention that both the AMA and the World Health Organization has said mandatory safety studies on these foods should be required. The U.S. government does not require any safety studies for GE foods, and no long-term human health studies have ever been conducted on these products. According to WHO, there are three main issues with GE foods: "tendencies to provoke allergic reaction (allergenicity), gene … [Read more...]

Prop 37: Supporters and Opponents

Proposition 37 is the ballot initiative in California that will force mandatory labels on all foods produced with genetically modified or engineered organisms. Those foods, called GE or GMO foods, have had their DNA modified in some way to add a characteristic to the food. Most Americans, according to many surveys, support labeling GMOs in food. The organization California Right to Know is behind the effort that successfully added Prop 37 to the ballot this fall. It's interesting to see who supports this initiative and who opposes it. According to a press release sent out by California Right to Know, the largest contributors to the anti-Prop 37 movement have donated $2 million so far. Donors include biotech industry conglomerates such as DuPont ($310,100) and organizations such as … [Read more...]

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