Ethical Eating

Poland Bans Frankenfoods: Florida Activists and Representatives Move Forward

The fight to label GMOs in the United States did not work out as activists had hoped in 2012. While anti-Frankenfood groups in the US are attempting to regroup from the failure of California's Proposition 37, across the pond they have managed to successfully do away with some strains--in Poland.

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- World Food Day Today (October 16): GMO Protest at Yellow Green Market

Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk enacted a ban on BASF's Amflora Potatoes and Monsanto's MON 810 Corn. This was intended to bypass the EU blanket approval of GM crops, which went into effect on the first of this year.

The Polish ban, which will be enacted on January 28, was strongly supported by Greenpeace--which firmly criticizes GMOs. In a statement of approval Greenpeace Poland said, "The government has kept its promises."

Tusk and his center-right government promised to ban GM crops in November just after the Senate approved the registration and sale of the crops, which had been banned in the country until then. According to Tusk, due to EU rules, lawmakers had been forced to pass blanket approval of the GM crops.

In Florida, House Representatives are currently looking at taking on GMO labeling in the next legislative session, coming up in March. Representative Michelle Rehwinkle Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) is currently researching the topic. According to her, "I'm studying the issue and I'm onboard. I think there should be transparency: people should know what they're ingesting."

While she fully supports the labeling of GMOs in foods, she is presently looking into the effects of genetically modified mosquitos--another big concern of anti-GMO activists. "Mosquito-borne illness can be catastrophic," she says, "I really want to look at each issue before moving forward. I want to cross my t's and dot my i's before moving ahead. I believe someone will be championing truth in labeling. I'm just not sure who's going to end up filing it."

Representative Mark Pafford (D- West Palm Beach) is also a supporter of labeling laws. While he is not interesting in sponsoring a bill himself, due to the six bill limit in the house, he says he will co-sponsor a bill. According to Pafford, " As somebody who is a diabetic, who is constantly trying to figure out what is going into my body, I think labeling is an important issue."

For anyone interested in hearing more about the subject, GMO-Free Florida is meeting at BM Organics this Thursday at 7 pm. The restaurant is located at 2960 North Federal Hgwy in Fort Lauderdale.

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Sara Ventiera