Washington, Jul 30, 2008
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) introduced three bills designed to protect consumers, defend farmers’ rights, and increase food safety yesterday. The bills collectively create a comprehensive framework to regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“We have a responsibility to put the public health and the environment before profits. These bills spell out common sense precautions.”
The three bills are titled, respectively, H.R. 6636, The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, H.R. 6635, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act, and H.R. 6637, The Genetically Engineered Farmer Protection Act.
H.R. 6636, The Genetically Engineered Food Right To Know Act, would require mandatory labeling of all foods that contain or are produced with genetically modified material. A legal framework to ensure labeling accuracy without significant economic hardship would also be established.
H.R. 6635, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act, would require that genetically engineered foods follow a food safety review process to prevent contamination of food supplies by pharmaceutical and industrial crops. This Act would also require that the FDA screen all genetically engineered foods to ensure they are safe for human consumption.
H.R. 6637, The Genetically Engineered Farmer Protection Act, places liability from the impacts of genetically engineered organisms on the biotechnology companies that created the GMOs, and protects farmers from law suits by biotechnology companies
“We are eating genetically engineered foods every day. Farmers are sowing genetically engineered seeds every day. Yet, we have never studied the long term effects of genetically modified organisms on our health, our children or our environment. Congress must take steps to maximize the benefit and minimize the risks of biotechnology.”
Congressman Kucinich has used his position as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Domestic Policy to examine food safety issues and the rights of farmers. A Subcommittee hearing held by Rep. Kucinich in March examined the impact on farmers caused by contamination of conventional crops by genetically engineered plants significantly influenced these bills.
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