McGovern Urges Defeat of Weak Republican GMO Labeling Bill

McGovern Calls Bill A Giveaway to Big Industry to Keep Americans in the Dark About Which Foods Contain GMOs

Today Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA), a leading voice in Congress calling for strong GMO labeling, spoke on the House floor to urge the defeat of S. 764, a bill that House Republicans claim creates mandatory GMO labeling, but falls far short of the transparency American consumers deserve. Click here for video of today’s speech.

“This bill is a prime example of why the American people are so frustrated with Congress. This is a deeply, deeply flawed bill. We’re told that this is a mandatory GMO labeling bill, but the truth is, not really. This bill is a deception.

“When people think of labels, they expect something that is easily identifiable. That is clear like a written label. That’s not a controversial idea. This calls for a “quick response” code, whatever that may be that is confusing and can only be accessed using a smartphone and internet access. Never mind that many Americans don’t have smartphones and many supermarkets don’t even get service, thereby making it impossible to get information on GMOs and keeping consumers in the dark about what’s in their food.

“Let’s be honest. This is exactly what some in big industry want. They want people to be confused. They don’t want people to have access to information. And when big industry speaks, Congress not only listens, Congress rolls over and gives big industry whatever it wants.

“Let’s be clear about another thing. This debate is not about the science regarding GMOs. It’s not about whether you love GMOs or hate GMOs. I consume GMOs. My kids consume GMOs. But I still believe that every consumer is entitled to know whether the food they buy contains GMOs. That’s what this debate is about. It is about transparency.

“And for those who think this ends the debate, that this is it, I have a prediction: You’re wrong. People are going to continue to fight to demand clear mandatory GMO labeling. They have a right to know what is in their food.

“The overwhelming majority of the American people – Democrats and Republicans – all favor clear mandatory GMO labeling. I got a radical idea, why don’t we give them what they want?

“Why don’t we just put it on the package? It doesn’t cost any more. The idea that this is an effort that will raise food prices is ridiculous. This convoluted, complicated labeling system outlined in this bill, if that’s not going to raise food prices, then a simple and plain English listing on food that says this contains GMOs will certainly not raise food prices.

“Sooner or later, we’re going to get clear mandatory GMO labeling. I prefer sooner and therefore I urge my colleagues to reject this bill. Let’s give the American consumer what they want.”

Click here for video of today’s speech.