Genetically Engineered or Genetically Modified Organisms are one of the most contentious issues facing the food world right now. After last week's Monsanto Rider was snuck into the budget bill, a vast majority of the population is pissed with the government's ties to the biotech industry.
Oregon has introduced a bill requiring mandatory labeling of GMOs. But the home of Portlandia has taken the anti-GMO measures a step further, by a placing a block on Frankenfish.
The Florida Senate Agriculture Committee has not added the Florida mandatory labeling bill to it's Monday agenda.
Sponsored by Oregon House Representatives Deborah Boone (D-Cannon Beach) and Paul Holvey (D-Eugene), H.B. 2530 would ban the GE Salmon from being produced and farmed within the state, as well as from being imported and sold there. While the FDA published it's Environmental Assessment and preliminary "Finding of no Significant Impact" for the Frankenfish on December 26, the agency is still taking public comments on the matter until April 26.
In addition to the proposed anti-Frankenfish measures, the state has also included two mandatory labeling initiatives for this session. H.B. 2175, sponsored by Boone would require that all foods containing genetically-engineered material must be labeled. If it's approved, effective January 1, 2014, any improperly labeled GE foods will be considered misbranded, and its manufacturer will be held accountable for breaking the states labeling requirements.
And just in case the anti-Frankenfish bill is not passed, Representative Holvey and Representative David Gomberg (D-Central Coast) sponsored H.B. 3177 as a back-up. The bill states that all GE salmon that is not labled would be deemed misbranded, there by in violation of the law.
Take that, biotech industry.
In Florida, S.B. 1728, sponsored by Maria Lorts Sachs (D-Delray Beach), requires mandatory labeling requirements for genetically engineered foods.
Currently, the bill is not on Monday's agenda.
Obviously, there's still a chance the bill will make it on to the agenda. But in often-conflicting Florida, it will be interesting to see whether it can make its way through the legislative process.
GMO activist groups are urging citizens to reach out to Agriculture Committee Chair, Senator Bill Montford (R- St. Augustine) to request the bill's addition to Monday's meeting. His number is 850-487-5003. The Senate Agriculture Committee phone line is 850-487-5133.
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