The campaign to label genetically engineered (GE) foods (or GMOs) seems to be entering a new phase, with renewed energy both on the state front, and the national front.
Nationally, the Organic Voices, which had been spearheading the Justlabelit campaign, is powering forward with a new collaborative relationship with the Environmental Working Group. Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs at EWG will now serve as Organic Voices' executive director. This is a hugely important development, as EWG has a 20-year record of research and education about environmental and public health, and advocacy for a more transparent food system, which is what the fight to label GE foods is all about.
At the same time, Whole Foods has announced that their suppliers have five years to institute clear labeling of any products containing GE ingredients.
Meanwhile, groups in more than 30 states are now pursuing statewide label initiatives. Last week I was very excited to be one of the first guests on a new webshow (or more specifically a Google Hangout) the Weekly Women's GMO Free News Show, hosted by Zen Honeycutt, Laurie Avenell Olson, and Andrea Frostad of the Weekly Women's GMO Free News. I spoke about how GMOs are central to my book Drift, as well as the sequel, Deadout, and also updated the hosts about efforts to label GE foods in Pennsylvania (see below). In addition to lots of great information about statewide initiatives, I also got to meet Rob Herring, a very talented singer and songwriter whose work focuses on GE foods and the fight to label them.
In Pennsylvania, I am proud to be a part of the statewide effort to institute labeling of GE food. On Monday, March 11, State Senator Daylin Leach and a dozen cosponsors will introduce legislation to mandate labeling of GE foods in Pennsylvania. At 10:30 a.m. the next day, Tuesday March 12, I will be one of the speakers joining the sponsors at a press event in Pennsylvania's Capitol Rotunda to publicly mark the occasion. So if you are near Harrisburg, come by and show your support!