BOSTON - Senator Sal DiDomenico recently registered his support for H.3242, “An Act establishing the genetic engineering transparency food and seed labeling act” before the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. Senator DiDomenico has joined more than one hundred and fifty legislators in advocating for the passage of this bill, also known as the GMO Labeling Bill, which aims to give consumers more information about the foods they eat.
The United States is one of only two industrialized countries that do not require companies to disclose whether or not their products contain genetically modified food. A few companies voluntarily give this information to consumers, but many large agribusinesses vocally oppose labeling efforts and have lobbied against them. As a result, millions of people are kept in the dark about the products they buy and eat every day.
The GMO Labeling Bill seeks to address this problem by creating a new labeling requirement for retailed food products that are entirely or partially created with genetic engineering. All of these items would have to contain a clear and conspicuous label explaining their GMO use and would be prohibited from being labeled as “natural,” “naturally made” or anything similar.
In testimony provided to the committee, Senator DiDomenico asserted that labeling requirements will help families make important nutritional decisions: “Everyone deserves the right to make informed decisions about the food they eat. Labeling genetically engineered food provides transparency for consumers and ensures that the people of the Commonwealth know exactly what they are feeding their families.”
There is still no scientific consensus on whether genetically engineered foods pose dangers to consumers’ health; however, public polling consistently shows that a large majority of the American people supports labeling requirements, and many state governments have reacted to the surge in interest by considering new legislation.
The bill is supported by the Massachusetts Coalition for GMO Labeling, a group of grassroots volunteer and advocacy organizations dedicated to bring greater transparency to the retail food industry.