Kucinich seeks consumer protection and choice
2.Kucinich: Allow Consumers to Make Informed Choices
1.Kucinich: Protect Our Food Supply From Manufactured Crises
eNews Park Forest, December 9 2011
WASHINGTON – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today announced commonsense legislation that would prohibit open-air cultivation of Genetically Engineered (GE) pharmaceutical and industrial crops, preventing biological contamination of our food supply. The bill would also establish a tracking system to regulate and ensure the safety of GE pharmaceutical and industrial crops.
“We must take steps to prevent genetically engineered organisms from being grown in a way that could do irreversible damage to our food supply. Under pressure from profit-minded industry, we have already allowed the spread of genetically modified crops into our agriculture at great cost to our economy and with unknown effects on our bodies,” said Kucinich.
The Department of Agriculture has allowed more than 300 outdoor field trials of plants-including feed crops including corn, soybeans, rice, safflower, barley, alfalfa, mustard greens, peas, sugarcane, tomatoes, and wheat-which are genetically engineered to produce experimental pharmaceuticals, industrial enzymes and novel proteins. Those GE substances are not intended to be incorporated into food or to be spread into the environment or our food supply. Yet there are examples of such contamination, with enormously destructive consequences.
“Many Americans are unaware that crops that are genetically engineered to produce experimental pharmaceutical drugs are being grown in this country in the open, allowing them to contaminate conventional crops without detection. We cannot rely on industry to prevent the unintended spread of genetically engineered organisms,” said Kucinich.
H.R. 3554, The Genetically Engineered Safety Act, which would prohibit the open-air cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) pharmaceutical and industrial crops. The bill would prohibit the use of common human food or animal feed as the host plant for a genetically engineered pharmaceutical or industrial chemical. H.R. 3554 would also establish a tracking system to regulate the growing, handling, transportation, and disposal of pharmaceutical and industrial crops protect native ecosystems and traditional farms from the unstudied dangers of growing GE organisms. The legislation is part of a package of bills introduced by Kucinich, which includes H.R. 3553, the GE Right to Know Act.
“We have taken few steps to ensure that our own genetic experiments are kept in check. This commonsense legislation would simply ensure that our experimentation with genetic engineering and cloning do not disrupt our traditional food supply. When you are talking about the safety and stability of the food supply, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” said Kucinich.
2.Dennis Kucinich: Allow Consumers to Make Informed Choices
The State Column, December 5 2011
Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today issued the following statement upon announcing legislation that would require the labeling of all foods that contain or are produced with genetically engineered (GE) material.
“Genetic engineers have dramatically altered the food we consume, disrupting entire ecosystems and contaminating crops with potentially devastating effects on our long-term health. Despite mounting evidence of the irreversible changes caused by genetic modification, the agribusiness and pharmaceutical industries ask us to believe that experimenting with Mother Nature causes no harm. Already there is ample evidence that this kind of manipulation does have an impact on our bodies and on the ecosystem we all depend on. We cannot rely on the Food and Drug Administration or the U.S. Department of Agriculture to protect us from the threat of GE organisms when those same agencies allowed genetically engineered organisms into our food and pharmaceutical supplies without first requiring objective studies to show they were safe.
“Since GE crops were first approved, the concerns about their very real threat to farmers have become widespread and the questions about the safety of eating GE organisms have steadily grown. Meanwhile the industry has resisted objective study of the issue. To this day, biotechnology companies are largely allowed to self-regulate. Enough is enough. The American people are demanding a right to know. My legislation puts the onus on Congress to be responsive to the will of the people. It gives the power to consumers to make an informed choice about the products they consume.
“Big agribusiness fought efforts to inform consumers about the basic truths of their products. GE crops now cover 10% of global farmland. Now, biotechnology companies heralding a false solution to world hunger want to slip onto supermarket shelves a genetically modified salmon engineered to grow to twice the size of a normal salmon. My common sense legislation will finally allow informed consumers to make their own decisions and to vote with their wallets. People have a right to know how their food is made and whether or not it has been genetically modified,” Kucinich said.
H.R. 3553, The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act, would for the first time, require genetically modified food to be clearly labeled. It would also require the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to periodically test products to ensure compliance.
Kucinich introduced The GE Food Right to Know Act as part comprehensive regulatory framework for all Genetically Engineered (GE) plants, animals, bacteria, and other organisms, including fish.