The deadline to move a GMO labeling bill out of committee is March 19th!
They’re hearing from the corporate lobbyists.
They need to hear more from us.
Legislators are hearing from corporate lobbyists and insiders who want to keep us in the dark about what we’re eating. The fate of a GMO labeling bill in Massachusetts is uncertain, and an important deadline is fast approaching. We need to make sure our representatives hear from the people on this. Please magnify your voice by sharing this action alert with anyone you know who eats food in Massachusetts.
Follow the simple instructions below, and call your legislator, today!
(Don’t feel up to making a call? Here’s a message form you can send them directly within seconds)
How to take action in 3 easy steps!
ALWAYS: PLEASE BE RESPECTFUL.
(more resources and talking points can be found, here)
1. Find phone number/email for your State Representative and State Senator here: http://www.wheredoivotema.com/bal/MyElectionInfo.aspx
Look here to see if they already endorse GMO labeling. Even if they are already in support, they still need to hear from you! If not, remember to tell the rep or senator that you’d really like to see them listed online as a supporter of GMO labeling. You can even offer to send them the link to join on as an endorser!
BONUS: If your elected official is on one of the committees considering the GMO labeling bills, then you can have an added impact of encouraging them to “vote it favorably out of committee!” The two committees are listed here.
2. Make the call! A phone call is one of the most powerful ways to make your voice heard (literally!). When you call, you’ll likely be talking to one of their staffers. They are very nice, but usually pretty busy, so you can keep it simple. Please be respectful, polite and brief:
“Hello, my name is [your name] and I’m from [your town]. I’m calling because I need to know if I’m eating genetically engineered foods. [Tell them briefly why this is important to you.]
Does the [Senator/Representative] support mandatory GMO labeling?”
If they’re not on board yet, or don’t know, you can give them some more reasons why you think GMOs should be labeled and ask for them to please consider the issue.
If they are in support, thank them and ask them to contact the chairs of the Public Health Committee and the Environment/Agriculture Committee:
“Please contact the chairs of the committees* and ask them to report out a strong GMO labeling bill this session. Please don’t let GMO labeling die!”
*Also, you can ask them to declare their support by signing our legislative endorsement letter, here.
*list of bills and committees at the bottom
NOTE: We are not asking them to pass one specific bill. Since there are multiple bills, they will likely combine them, and we are pushing for better language to be substituted. Just ask them to talk to the Public Health Committee and the Environment Committee to get any GMO labeling bill out this session!
For more tips and suggested talking points, please click here.
3. Let us know how it goes, especially if they’re in support! http://bit.ly/XD4ZpG.
Thank you for taking action and for passing this alert on to your friends and networks!
Please follow us on facebook.com/MARightToKnowGMOs
**BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON GMO LABELING IN MASSACHUSETTS**
Proposed legislation has until March 19th, 2014 to get voted favorably out of committee, otherwise it’s dead and we’ll have to try again for 2016. The bills are stuck in committees, which are hearing opposition from industry groups like the Grocery Manufacturers Association (as well as via one Monsanto-public relations specialist-turned-Massachusetts-Farm-Bureau-director). Unless the committee members hear from their constituents and their fellow lawmakers in large numbers, especially the committee chairs, Massachusetts could miss the opportunity to help push a regional tipping point toward something that at least 90% of us know that we need:
Mandatory labeling of genetically engineered ingredients (which are on the market illegally, by the way).
GMOs are not as the federal government says, “Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS):” there is no scientific consensus on GMO safety, and we know that there are serious impacts on the environment. The federal government does not require or perform safety tests on any GMO crops, and we are hoping our state government will help us to opt out of the GMO food experiment.
There are 5 bills being considered by two committees:
Bills H.808 and H.813 are being considered by The Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. Chairs: Sen. Marc R. Pacheco (Taunton) Rep. Anne M. Gobi (Spencer)
Bills H.2093, H.2037, & H.1936 are being considered by The Joint Committee on Public Health. Chairs: Sen. John F. Keenan (Quincy) Rep. Jeffrey Sánchez (Jamaica Plain)
Note: We are encouraging legislators to combine the bills, but not yet promoting a single bill number.
For more details on the pending legislation, visit: MArighttoknow.org “Legislation” tab.
Why do we need to know if we’re eating genetically engineered foods (GMOs)?
More than 90 percent of Americans want GMOs labeled, and we are not alone. Due to health and environmental concerns, more than 60 other countries already require GMO labeling or ban them altogether1. 27 states are now considering GMO labeling bills, including Massachusetts.
GMO foods have not been proven safe.
There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety2, and the government has never performed or required any safety testing of GMO foods3. The industry funds its own research to prove GMOs are safe while aggressively discrediting any independent research challenging that belief4. GMO foods have been linked to digestive disorders, infertility, immune problems and cancer, and these studies warrant further research5. Mothers should be able to choose if they want their children to be part of the GMO food experiment.
Major health organizations support mandatory safety testing and labeling.
The World Health Organization6 and the American Medical Association7 have called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of GMO foods, a standard the U.S. fails to meet. Dozens of public health groups support mandatory GMO labeling, including the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Allergy Kids Foundation8.
GMO labeling will not increase food costs or burden local retailers.
Companies change their labeling all the time, and dozens of other countries have already introduced GMO labeling without increasing food costs9. Independent reports have shown costs associated with GMO labeling to be negligible, less than $2.00 per person/year10. GMO labeling won’t burden local retailers. The entity responsible for labeling processed foods will be the manufacturer.
It’s time to demand GMO labeling!
Our elected officials are hearing from the corporate lobbyists, but will they hear from you?!
1. GMO Inside, “64 Countries around the world label GE food” (2013)
2. European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, “297 scientists and experts agree GMOs not proven safe” (2013)
3. Alliance for Bio-Integrity, “FDA Documents Show They Ignored GMO Safety Warnings From Their Own Scientists” (1999)
4. Jeffrey Smith, “Please Stop Dangerous Attacks on ALL Independent GMO Researchers” (2010)
5. Health Hazards of GM Foods, Excerpt/summary from GMO Myths & Truths, earthopensource (2012)
6. Michael Hansen, Ph.D., “Reasons for Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods” (2012)
7. Action of the AMA House of Delegates 2012 Annual Meeting (2012)
8. GMO Free USA, “There is no consensus on the safety of GMOs” (2014)
9. European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Protection, “Proposal for a regulation on GM Food and Feed” (2001)
10. Alliance for Natural Health, “How Much Will GMO Labeling Cost Consumers?” (2013)
Click here to download a printable PDF of this sheet.
This is a map of the districts of the committee members we need to make more noise in. Click the location bubble to see legislator info. Note that districts are not outlined, and some split a town in half. You can look up your voting address, here: https://malegislature.gov/People/Search
Yellow markers are for towns/cities who’s legislators haven’t taken a stance on GMO labeling. They are the highest priority. Green markers are for the towns/cities who’s legislators who have signed on in support of GMO labeling in Massachusetts.
Please click here to help us make noise in these key districts!