The Green Party today challenged Speaker Heastie to allow the state Assembly to vote on whether or not foods with GMOs to be labeled as such.
Despite overwhelming public support and the sponsorship of more than 70 members, the Greens said that Heastie was bottling the bill up due to pressure from supermarkets, the Farm Bureau and industry representatives such as Monsanto, especially on a handful of upstate legislators. A 2013 poll by The New York Times revealed 93% of Americans want GE foods to be labeled.
“Despite claims of bringing democracy and transparency to the Assembly, once again the campaign contributions of a few are being allowed by the Speaker to outweigh the desires of many. The Greens have been pushing the state legislature for more than 15 years to take action to protect residents against the dangers of genetic engineering of our food system, and we can’t even get a vote on a labeling bill,” stated Frank Cetera, organizer of the Syracuse March Against Monsanto and a Green candidate running for Syracuse City Council.
The Greens said that they would recruit food advocates to run for state legislature next year. Many Green Party groups and members participated in the nationwide protests this weekend against Monsanto and oppose the federal DARK Act (HR 1599), a bill that would strip states of the right to pass GMO labeling laws.
Since we are what we eat, then there are few things more basic than our right to know what’s in our food. The Green Party has always supported labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 60+ countries have already enacted laws banning or mandating labeling of GMOs. The European Union has been labeling GMOs since 1998. Nationwide polls show that over 90% of Americans want GMOs labeled.
More than a decade ago the Green Party of NY helped draft legislation for a moratorium on the planting on GMO crops in our state until health and environmental safety issues were resolved. The use of genetically engineered foods without mandatory publicly transparent safety testing amounts to a massive science experiment on the health of New York families and children in the name of corporate profits.
The Green Party ‘s concerns about the environmental impacts of genetically engineered foods include unintentional contamination of non-GMO and organic crops, loss of seed purity for our most important food crops and an overall increase in pesticide use, and the emergence of superweeds and superbugs that are now resistant to the chemicals used with GMO crops.
The Greens support the call for a global ban on Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide and an end to Monsanto’s global seed monopoly and toxic monocultures. In March, the World Health Organization declared glyphosate, the key active ingredient in Roundup, a probable carcinogen. Roundup is the most widely used herbicide in the world, even though it has been linked to cancer, kidney and liver disease, infertility, chronic digestive disorders and other illnesses.
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