I just sent the following letter to my congressional representatives in the senate and thought I would share it here in this blog as well...
I am writing to urge you to support and co-sponsor legislation to require the mandatory labeling and safety testing of genetically engineered foods. The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act would require labels on gene altered food, and the Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act would call for federal standards for safety assessments of these experimental foods now in our stores.
It is shocking that the FDA has never developed binding federal rules to protect consumers from the food safety risks of genetically engineered foods. Unlike crops from traditional breeding, genetically engineered crops contain antibiotic-resistant marker genes, viral promoters and foreign proteins never before consumed by humans. So, in essence, the American public are being used as lab rats, yet the FDA relies on the very companies that have a financial interest in bringing these biotech crops to market to assess their safety. I thought human experimentation was illegal. People have a right to know what they are being sold, what they are consuming. That way they can make a free choice of whether or not to purchase that product and take that risk. FDA has stated, "Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety" of gene altered foods. I thought it my responsibility to make smart choices about what I eat and drink, but how can anyone make a smart choice when they are kept in the dark as to information that could be detrimental to their health?
Congress must step up and fill the gaping regulatory hole left by the FDA to protect American consumers. The Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act would fill this hole by requiring mandatory pre-market safety testing for all GE foods.
The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act would require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Here in America, we pride ourselves on having choices and making informed decisions. Under current FDA regulations we don't have that choice when it comes to GE ingredients in the foods we purchase and feed our families. Labeling is essential for me to choose whether or not I want to consume genetically engineered foods. Genetically engineered foods are required to be labeled in the 15 European Union nations, Russia, Japan, China, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries around the world. As an American, I firmly believe I should also have the right to know if my foods have been genetically engineered. If food makers like Kraft and Kellogg's can label the products they sell in these countries, they can certainly do it in the U.S.
A recent poll released by ABC News, available at http://abcnews.go.com/images/pdf/930a1FoodSafety.pdf found that 92 percent of the American public wants the federal government to require mandatory labeling on genetically engineered foods. As ABC News stated, "Such near-unanimity in public opinion is rare."
I hope you will listen to me and the other 92 percent of the American public who want mandatory labeling and show your support for American consumers by supporting and co-sponsoring the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act. I look forward to a written response confirming your support. Thank you!
I cannot take total credit for the above letter, as it began as a form letter that I found it at http://truefoodnow.org where it asked that you send it to your senators. I modified/added to it a bit with some comments of my own, but figured I should give credit where it is due, as I thought it was very well written.
The issue here though, is not about who wrote what, it is about getting the message out and opening people's eyes to what is going on in the legislative branch of our government in regard to this and many other bills of interest.
I also want to thank Dianne Gregg who is a connection of mine and who also wrote a book called "The Hidden Dangers of Soy". She brought this issue back in the forefront of my mind and since I am quite passionate about this issue, I spread the word on further.