MOFGA, family farms support GMO labeling

Posted Wednesday, April 17, 2013 in Sustainable Maine

MOFGA, family farms support GMO labeling
AUGUSTA — A broad coalition of businesses is supporting the effort to require labeling of genetically modified organisms in foods in Maine. On Monday, MOFGA, the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, announced that more than 100 family farms, businesses and organizations have signed a letter urging state legislators to vote in favor of LD 718, An Act to Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right to Know about Genetically Engineered Food.
Signatories include family farms from Breman to Bridgewater, and Maine businesses ranging from the small Blue Hill Food Cooperative to Lee Auto Mall.
"Labels tell us vital information. Many people think that shopping in a co-op or natural foods store means they are not eating GMOs," said Jessica Holloway of the Blue Hill Co-op. "But they are wrong. A label is critical to prevent customer confusion about what is in their food."
The sign-on letter argues, "More than 60 countries including Japan, China, Australia, Russia, New Zealand and the European Union require labeling of all GMO products. Maine consumers deserve the right to know what is in the food that they are providing for their families.”
The bill, scheduled for public hearing on April 23, is expected to draw a large crowd to the State House in a legislative session marked by controversial issues.
However, Heather Spalding, MOFGA’s interim executive director, says, “Labeling is widely popular. A recent scientific poll of Maine voters found that 91 percent support labeling requirements for GMOs.”
The popularity of this concept with voters and lawmakers, including 123 Republican, Democrat and Independent co-sponsors of the bill, will be put to the test by significant spending efforts in opposition to the bill. In the 2012 election cycle, public ethics reporting data suggests that Monsanto contributed more than $80,000 to leadership funds and non-clean-elections candidates.
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