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Received this e-mail today from Senator Jeff Merkley (D. OR):
Summer is here, and you know what I love? Corn on the cob.

Personally, I just like a little butter. Or maybe a little salt and lots of black pepper. (I've heard of a maple syrup and chipotle concoction, but haven't had a chance to try that yet!)

Whether it's corn on the cob, or big juicy tomatoes, or a pint of raspberries, summer is a great time to eat whatever's fresh off the farm -- nature's bounty at its finest.

But these days, it seems that food is a bit more complicated. Additives, preservatives, artificial flavorings - not to mention, genetically-engineered food.

Maybe you want to eat 100% organic. Maybe you don't mind some artificial something-or-other.

But the one thing I think we can all agree on: You should have the right to know and choose what's in your food.

The big multinational food, chemical, and pesticide companies -- like Monsanto, DuPont, and Dow -- would rather keep you in the dark.

That doesn't work for me.  That's why I support the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act.  

I hope you'll join me in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass this critical bill. Whether you're a farmers' market regular or a fast-food junkie, every one of us should have the right to know what we're eating:

http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/...

Senator Jeff Merkley

The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D. CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D. OR).  Here's a little more info:

http://www.boxer.senate.gov/...

Currently, the FDA requires the labeling of over 3,000 ingredients, additives and processes, but the agency has resisted labels for genetically modified foods. In a 1992 policy statement, the FDA allowed GE foods to be marketed without labeling, claiming that these foods were not “materially” different from other foods because the genetic differences could not be recognized by taste, smell or other senses.

Unfortunately, the FDA’s antiquated labeling policy has not kept pace with 21st century food technologies that allow for a wide array of genetic and molecular changes to food that can’t be detected by human senses. Common sense would indicate that GE corn that produces its own insecticide – or is engineered to survive being doused by herbicides – is materially different from traditional corn that does not. Even the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has recognized that these foods are materially different and novel for patent purposes.

Consumers – who are used to reading labels to see if foods contain MSG, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup or aspartame – clearly want more information. More than one and a half million Americans have filed comments with the FDA urging the agency to label GE foods.

The bipartisan legislation introduced today would require clear labels for genetically engineered whole foods and processed foods, including fish and seafood. The measure would direct the FDA to write new labeling standards that are consistent with U.S. labeling standards and international standards.

Sixty-four countries around the world already require the labeling of GE foods, including all the member nations of the European Union, Russia, Japan, China, Australia and New Zealand.

Along with Merkley, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act is also cosponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Mark Begich (D-AK), Jon Tester (D-MT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM) are cosponsors of the Senate bill. Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Donna Christensen (D-Virgin Islands), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Peter Welch (D-VT), James Moran (D-VA), Louise Slaughter (D-NY), Don Young (R-AK), Jim McDermott (D-WA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), Jared Huffman (D-CA), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), George Miller (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Ann Kuster (D-NH) are cosponsors of the House bill.  The bill also has the support from several business and organizations.  You can read the list here:

http://www.boxer.senate.gov/...

You can sign Merkley's petition here:

http://pac.petitions.moveon.org/...

Originally posted to pdc on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 09:22 AM PDT.

Also republished by Koscadia, Climate Change SOS, California politics, Los Angeles Kossacks, PDX Metro, Climate Hawks, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, DK GreenRoots, Daily Kos Oregon, Sustainable Food and Agriculture, and Environmental Foodies.

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