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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. Yet the FDA relies on the very companies that have a financial interest in bringing these biotech crops to market to assess their safety. FDA has stated, "Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety" of gene altered foods.
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 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.
(See my additional comments in red below.)
If there are laws requiring possible allergens to be listed on food labels, GE foods should CERTAINLY be included as possible allergens. Both my son and I have developed an increase in allergies over the past decade alone. I know for a fact that when I eat something that may contain GE ingredients instead of organic versions of the same food, I have physical allergic reactions. Doctors will not say I am allergic to any ingredient in those products (because we all know mainstream medicine refuses to acknowledge the dangers of GM foods), but I can tell the difference. If a person is sentive to chemicals, pesticides, etc., then it stands to reason that foods containing such chemicals should be required to list them on the food labels. If I am exposed to certain chemicals, fragrances, fumes, pesticides, etc., my throat dries up, and I have a difficult time breathing. The same thing happens if I consume certain foods, therefore I am convinced these toxic foods are allergens to my body, and I have the right to demand these irritants and allergens be disclosed if sold on the open market or used in government supported food programs such as school lunches for children and teens or food programs for the sick, elderly and underprivileged. Refusing to publish these possible allergens on food labels is therefore criminal and discriminatory in my opinion.