Legislature moves bill forward on labeling GMO produce

Posted Wednesday, March 13, 2013 in Investigation

Legislature moves bill forward on labeling GMO produce
AUGUSTA — On March 7,  the Maine Legislature took its first action on LD 718, "An Act to Protect Maine Food Consumers’ Right to Know About Genetically Engineered Food and Seed Stock," when it sent the bill to the Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

The bill would require genetically modified foods and foods containing genetically modified organisms, such as processed foods made with genetically modified corn, to bear a new label alerting consumers that the content has been “genetically engineered.”
Genetically modified organisms and “genetically engineered” refer to the same process, which is unlike traditional plant breeding. This process combines genetic material from two or more different organisms to create a set of traits in the final product that could not be achieved by normal reproduction. The bill’s sponsor, State Rep. Lance Harvell, R-Farmington, says “Mainers have a right to know what is in our food. For dietary, health and religious reasons, people just want to know what they are eating. ”
The bill is unusual because it has more than 120 co-sponsors, reflecting tripartisan interest from across the state in the historic effort to label GMOs. 
“Widespread support for this bill shows that the time is right for Maine to be a leader on this issue. Polls show that upward of 90 percent of Americans want this label; now we are asking the Legislature to require this label,” said Heather Spalding, interim executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
The Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry will schedule a public hearing on the bill in the coming weeks. The hearing is expected to attract significant attendance by both consumers and farmers.
For more information, contact Logan Perkins, Right to Know — GMO Campaign Coordinator, at (207) 949-7371. To read the bill or follow its progress, go to:

Joining Harvell, the sponsor of the bill, as co-sponsors are the following members of the Legislature: 
  • BEAR of the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians 
  • BEAUDOIN of Biddeford 
  • BEAULIEU of Auburn 
  • BECK of Waterville 
  • BENNETT of Kennebunk 
  • BERRY of Bowdoinham 
  • BOLAND of Sanford 
  • BRIGGS of Mexico
  • BROOKS of Winterport
  • CAMPBELL of Newfield
  • CAREY of Lewiston
  • CASAVANT of Biddeford
  • CHAPMAN of Brooksville
  • CHASE of Wells
  • CHIPMAN of Portland
  • COTTA of China
  • CRAFTS of Lisbon
  • DAUGHTRY of Brunswick
  • DAVIS of Sangerville
  • DeCHANT of Bath
  • DICKERSON of Rockland
  • DION of Portland
  • DOAK of Columbia Falls
  • DUNPHY of Embden
  • ESPLING of New Gloucester
  • EVANGELOS of Friendship
  • FARNSWORTH of Portland
  • FOWLE of Vassalboro
  • GIDEON of Freeport
  • GILBERT of Jay
  • GILLWAY of Searsport
  • GOODE of Bangor
  • GRAHAM of North Yarmouth
  • GRANT of Gardiner
  • GUERIN of Glenburn
  • HAMANN of South Portland
  • HARLOW of Portland
  • HICKMAN of Winthrop
  • HOBBINS of Saco
  • HUBBELL of Bar Harbor
  • JOHNSON of Greenville
  • JONES of Freedom
  • JORGENSEN of Portland
  • KENT of Woolwich
  • KESCHL of Belgrade
  • KINNEY of Limington
  • KNIGHT of Livermore Falls
  • KRUGER of Thomaston
  • KUMIEGA of Deer Isle
  • KUSIAK of Fairfield
  • LAJOIE of Lewiston
  • LIBBY of Lewiston
  • LONGSTAFF of Waterville
  • MacDONALD of Old Orchard Beach
  • MacDONALD of Boothbay
  • MAKER of Calais
  • MALABY of Hancock
  • MASTRACCIO of Sanford
  • McCABE of Skowhegan
  • McCLELLAN of Raymond
  • McGOWAN of York
  • McLEAN of Gorham
  • MONAGHAN-DERRIG of Cape Elizabeth
  • MOONEN of Portland
  • MORIARTY of Cumberland
  • MORRISON of South Portland
  • NADEAU of Winslow
  • NELSON of Falmouth
  • NEWENDYKE of Litchfield
  • PARRY of Arundel
  • PEAVEY HASKELL of Milford
  • PEOPLES of Westbrook
  • PETERSON of Rumford
  • PLANTE of Berwick
  • POULIOT of Augusta
  • POWERS of Naples
  • RANKIN of Hiram
  • REED of Carmel
  • ROCHELO of Biddeford
  • RUSSELL of Portland
  • RYKERSON of Kittery
  • SANBORN of Gorham
  • SANDERSON of Chelsea
  • SCHNECK of Bangor
  • SHAW of Standish
  • SHORT of Pittsfield
  • SIROCKI of Scarborough
  • SOCTOMAH of the Passamaquoddy Tribe
  • STANLEY of Medway
  • STUCKEY of Portland
  • TIPPING-SPITZ of Orono
  • TREAT of Hallowell
  • TURNER of Burlington
  • TYLER of Windham
  • VILLA of Harrison
  • VOLK of Scarborough
  • WALLACE of Dexter
  • WEAVER of York
  • WELSH of Rockport
  • WERTS of Auburn
  • WILSON of Augusta
  • WINCHENBACH of Waldoboro
  • ALFOND of Cumberland
  • BOYLE of Cumberland
  • CAIN of Penobscot County
  • COLLINS of York
  • CRAVEN of Androscoggin
  • DUTREMBLE of York
  • GERZOFSKY of Cumberland
  • GRATWICK of Penobscot
  • HAMPER of Oxford
  • HASKELL of Cumberland
  • HILL of York
  • JACKSON of Aroostook
  • JOHNSON of Lincoln County
  • LACHOWICZ of Kennebec
  • LANGLEY of Hancock
  • MAZUREK of Knox
  • MILLETT of Cumberland
  • PATRICK of Oxford
  • PLUMMER of Cumberland
  • TUTTLE of York
  • WHITTEMOR of Somerset

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