Two giant corporations -- Monsanto and Dupont -- have spent a combined nearly $8 million to oppose Washington state legislation to label GMOs, according to Green America's GMO Inside Campaign.
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Washington is just one of nearly 30 states that have proposed state GMO labeling initiatives. Connecticut and Maine passed labeling laws in June (though both are contingent on neighboring states also adopting labeling laws). According to the Public Disclosure Commission, Monsanto and Dupont have poured millions into fighting the initiative in Washington.
A patchwork of state-level labeling laws can be avoided if Congress acts to pass the bipartisan "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act," currently introduced in both the House and Senate. The act would would require the FDA to label all genetically modified foods.
Surveys have shown that more than 90 percent of Americans in support of labeling GM foods. And while the Right-to-Know Act has attracted more than 50 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle, Congressional leaders are looking for even more co-sponsors now in order to advance the bill.
Despite the support for the Right-to-Know Act, a budget provision protecting genetically-modified seeds from litigation in the face of health risks was extended for another three months in an approved US House of Representatives’ spending bill.
Also known as “The Monsanto Protection Act,” the budget rider shields big biotech corporations like Monsanto, Cargill and others from the threat of lawsuits and bars federal courts from intervening to force an end to the sale of a GMO even if the genetically-engineered product causes damaging health effects.
The Center for Food Safety, a vocal opponent of the rider, released a statement expressing dismay that the measure once again avoided proper legislative process while usurping the power to challenge GMO products in court.