Apr 06, 2012
Campaign to FDA: We Have a Right to Know What’s in Our Food
A record-breaking 1 million Americans of all political persuasions have called on the Food and Drug Administration to label genetically engineered foods.
That’s according to a new national survey by the Just Label It Campaign, which is said reveals that Americans across the political spectrum stand united in support of labeling food that has been genetically engineered.
“Pink slime, deadly melons, tainted turkeys and BPA in our soup have put us all on notice that what we eat and feed our families is critically important,” said Ken Cook, president of the Environmental Working Group, a JLI partner. “Americans overwhelmingly demand safety, transparency and labeling of genetically engineered foods. It’s time for the FDA to come clean and restore public confidence in our food system.”
Since October, JLI, the national campaign to require GE-food labeling, and its more than 500 partner organizations have spearheaded an historic number of public comments for a GE-foods labeling petition. It took less than 180 days to accumulate the record number of comments.
“In recent years, Americans have shown a real interest in knowing more about our food and now there is a clear mandate for the labeling of genetically engineered foods,” said Gary Hirshberg, chairman of organic yogurt maker Stonyfield, a JLI partner. “This petition asks the FDA to stand up for the rights of average Americans, and not just a handful of powerful chemical companies. It’s time for the FDA to give Americans the same rights held by citizens in forty nations, including all of our major trade partners, to know whether our foods have been genetically modified. The FDA needs to restore confidence in our food and our right to know about the food we eat and feed our families.”
Consumer support for GE-foods labeling in the United States is nearly unanimous, according to the political opinion survey on GE food labeling conducted by The Mellman Group on behalf of JLI. “Few topics other than motherhood and apple pie can muster over 90 percent support, but labeling GE-foods is one of those few views held almost unanimously,” said pollster Mark Mellman. “The survey found nearly all Democrats (93% favor, 2% oppose), Independents (90% favor, 5% oppose) and Republicans (89% favor, 5% oppose) in favor of labeling. The study also revealed that support for labeling is robust and arguments against it have little sway.”
Colorado mother and author Robyn O’Brien, who founded the Allergy Kids Foundation, a JLI partner, after one of her children had an allergic reaction to breakfast, said: “Americans are responding to the call for GE foods labeling because they want more information for their families. Like allergen labeling, GE-food labels would provide essential and possibly life-saving information for anyone with a food allergy. Being responsible for the health and safety of my children, I believe it’s my right to know about the food I feed my family.”
Just Label It is a national coalition of 500 diverse organizations dedicated to the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods, also referred to as genetically modified, or GMOs.
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