To: The Massachusetts State House, The Massachusetts State Senate, and Governor Charlie Baker
Massachusetts: Label GMOs
We, the undersigned citizens of the commonwealth, call upon your leadership to enact legislation requiring the labeling of all foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients and of all seeds that have been produced through genetic engineering, otherwise referred to as "GMO foods" or "GMOs." We have a right to know what is in the food we eat, what we are feeding to our families, and what we are growing in our farms and gardens.
We are asking for a GMO labeling bill to be signed into law this session that will be effective at preserving the transparency of our food supply and robust enough to withstand constitutional challenge. Our children and future generations will thank you for taking action now to protect the genetic integrity of our food, our seeds, and our bodies.
Why is this important?
The Food and Drug Administration does not require safety testing of new genetically modified foods (“GMOs”), instead relying on corporations' profits from the sale of such foods to ensure their safety for us. Contrary to industry claims, GMO foods have not been proven safe, and a growing body of independent, peer-reviewed studies have linked the consumption of GMO foods to allergies, infertility, immune problems, gastrointestinal disruption, cancer, and a host of other diseases. GMO crops can easily contaminate non-GMO crops, threatening organic agriculture, and their use is linked to increases in toxic pesticide use and the emergence of “superweeds.” Further, the absence of labeling of GMO foods and seeds prohibits those with specific ethical or religious practices from making informed food choices.
More than 60 other countries around the world inform their citizens if their food is genetically engineered, and national polls consistently show that more than 90% of Americans want to share this same basic human right. GMO labeling legislation has been introduced in over 25 states, and on June 3, 2013, Connecticut passed a GMO labeling law - the first in the nation. But, it requires at least four other states to adopt similar legislation before it goes into effect. One state must border Connecticut. Massachusetts now has the opportunity to help protect the transparency, integrity, and democracy of our food supply for all Americans.