Statement of Tara Cook-Littman, on behalf of Citizens for GMO Labeling

dark14On behalf of American consumers, we are disappointed in but not surprised by today’s U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee vote.  Senator Roberts’ bill could have been written at the Grocery Manufacturers Annual Meeting, despite the talk of compromise by Committee members. The preemption of state labeling efforts without a mandatory federal standard is unacceptable and bad for America’s families.

We applaud our champions on the committee for showing their support for consumers and the right of states to act in the absence of a strong federal standard: Thank you to Senators Stabenow, Leahy, Casey, Bennet, Brown, and Gillibrand.

We, the people, demand GMO labeling!

The dire talk of the consequences of informing consumers when GMOs are present would be laughable, if the implications weren’t so serious. There are a number of reasons why consumers might want to avoid GMOs - environmental, health, religious, ethical, etc. - but the industry champions don’t believe any of these are valid.  Whatever happened to the customer is always right?

Many Committee members repeated the line about how safe GMOs are and how necessary they are for feeding the world. We could debate the science around GMOs and never find resolution or agreement, but this is not about safety. If we could prove GMO’s were unsafe, we wouldn’t be asking for a label. We’d be demanding they be removed from the market. We simply want information. Polls consistently show over 90% of Americans want GMOs labeled, a fact available to the citizens of 64 other countries. Why are they so afraid to tell us what is in our food? The more they fight us, the more suspicious we become.

Despite today’s vote, we remain confident that the full U.S. Senate will continue to hold the line for America’s shoppers. We are simply asking for #4simplewords, “produced with genetic engineering,” so that we can make our own decision about the food we are feeding ourselves and our families.

Citizens for GMO Labeling, founded in 2013, works with advocates in 

more than 30 states to demand transparency in our food system.

About the Author
Tara Cook-Littman