Urge President to Issue Executive Order Demanding Truth in Labeling for All Food Products
Submitted by: Green America
Posted: Mar 27, 2013 – 03:39 PM EST
WASHINGTON, Mar. 27 /CSRwire/ - Food Democracy Now!, a national grassroots movement to build a safe, sustainable food system will hold a rally and press conference at Lafayette Park in front of the White House Wednesday at 12 noon to express outrage over President Obama's signing of the "Monsanto Protection Act." The rider was attached to HR 933, the short-term funding measure, that undermines the independence of judicial review and gives biotech seed companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical a blank check on the approval of new genetically engineered crops. The organization will urge President Obama to issue an executive order that demands labeling for all food products with genetically engineered (GMO) ingredients sold in America.
Since the bill’s passage in Congress, more than 250,00 Food Democracy Now! members have singed a letter to President Obama, asking that he strike the Monsanto Protection Act from being signed into law.
The so-called "biotech rider" was included in budget legislation that won final approval from the House, avoiding a shutdown of the federal government on March 27, when the current funding was set to expire. The provision was slipped into the legislation anonymously and explicitly grants the U.S. Department of Agriculture the authority to override a judicial ruling stopping the planting of a genetically modified crop.
Now that Congress has passed and President Obama has signed into law, the Monsanto Protection Act, Food Democracy Now! urgently calls on the President to issue an executive order to support the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods. If leadership in Washington DC can betray the public behind closed doors, it’s time that the American public gain the right to transparency about what they are eating and feeding their families every day.
Not only is GMO labeling a reasonable and common sense solution to the continued controversy that corporations like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical have created by subverting our basic democratic rights, but it is a basic right that citizens in 62 other countries around the world already enjoy, including Europe, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.
In addition, mandatory labeling of GMO foods is something that President Obama promised while on the campaign trail in 2007 to Iowa farmers when he said on November 10, 2007 in Des Moines: “Here’s what I’ll do as president.. we’ll let folks know whether their food has been genetically modified because Americans should know what they’re buying”
"It’s time that President Obama hold true to his campaign promise to Iowa farmers and the American people by issuing an executive order to label GMOs in American food products immediately," said Dave Murphy, founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! "The American people need real leadership in Washington DC, not more allegiance to corporate loopholes." The White House has declined to meet with Food Democracy Now.
The passage of the Monsanto Protection Act is another sign of how out of touch Congress and the White House are with the sentiment of the America public. The insertion of the biotech rider in a backroom deal with corporate lobbyists and Senate leaders is a new low. Since losing a court case in 2010 to Center for Food Safety for the unlawful planting of GMO sugar beets, Monsanto and other biotech companies have been desperate to find a way around court mandated environmental impact statements required as a result of a U.S. district court’s ruling.
"This kind of corporate immunity is bad for the economy and bad for our communities,” said Alisa Gravitz, President and CEO, of Green America. “We've seen this kind of corporate immunity before and we're devastated to see it here again for the most basic of all life - our food and agriculture. It's time for the government to stop operating in secrecy and grant us our right to transparency."
There is a fierce urgency in the fight over the Monsanto Protection Act for family farmers and food activists across the country as thirteen new genetically engineered crops await approval at the USDA and AquaBounty's GMO salmon could be approved at the FDA next month. The passage of this rider in an unrelated budget spending bill could open the floodgates for these new approvals, even if the budget agreement only last for the next six months.
Any new approvals could threaten the livelihoods of America’s farmers, as the approval of even a single one of these untested crops can lead to widespread contamination of farmers’ crops, bringing economic harm to farmers and contamination to our seed supply.
For the past year, family farm advocates and legal experts have fought to stop the Monsanto Protection Act, another special interest corporate giveaway that fundamentally undermines the federal courts’ ability to protect family farmers and the environment from potentially hazardous genetically engineered (GMO) crops that have not been proven safe.
For more information, or for interviews please contact Brett Abrams at 516-841-1105 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Food Democracy Now!
Food Democracy Now! is a grassroots movement of more than 500,000 farmers and citizens dedicated to building a sustainable food system that protects our natural environment, sustains farmers and nourishes families.
Green America is the nation’s leading green economy organization. Founded in 1982, Green America (formerly Co-op America) provides the economic strategies, organizing power and practical tools for businesses and individuals to solve today’s social and environmental problems.