"For parents, it's important that they not have to rely on the food industry before deciding what they feed their children," Evans said Thursday. "Parents should be able to make their own choices."
Evans originally was planning to target only baby foods. But later Thursday, her staff announced that her bill has been broadened to require GMO labeling for all foods used for "human consumption" in
Evans did not respond to a request seeking comment on the changes made to the proposed legislation.
"It's still a consumer choice bill. She's always been a strong consumer choice advocate," Schaff said.
The grange has about 10,000 members in about 45
He said the group had four meetings with the senator's staff but that "they didn't understand we were no longer talking about baby foods. We were talking about all foods."
That raises the stakes on the proposed legislation considerably. Anti-GMO advocates have been pushing for such labels for years, even though the federal government and many scientists say the bio-technology behind genetically modified organisms is safe.
Most grocers are opposed, on the grounds that such labels are unnecessary, confusing to consumers and likely to increase costs to produce new labels or ingredients to meet
"Every credible U.S. and international food safety authority that has studied GMO crops has found that they are safe and that there are no health effects associated with their use," said
He said the nation's food safety and labeling laws "should not be set by political campaigns, or state and local legislatures."
Humans have been altering the foods they consume for millennia. The current debate centers on genetically modified plants that are engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits or otherwise improve crop yields and increase the global food supply. Most corn, soybean and cotton crops grown in
All of that has not deterred organic food companies and some consumer groups from continuing their push for labeling.
She said she doesn't view it any different than disclosing whether foods contain gluten, trans fats or known allergens. "All it is saying is it has GMO in the food," she said.
The issue is whether such labeling should be mandatory.
He and his wife,
"We've been genetically selecting food for millennia. Everything we eat now is the result of thousands of years of cross-breeding and modification,"
"Consumer choice is important, and knowing what you're looking at when you make that choice is great," he said.
However, UC Davis Professor
She said since the introduction of modern bio-engineered crops in 1994, Americans have consumed about "two trillion" meals containing the organisms without suffering "one single documented incident of any adverse effect."
"All food has been genetically modified to one extent or the other over the last 1,000 years, and especially, the last 100 years," said Newell-McGloughlin, director of Life and Health Sciences Research Initiatives and International Biotechnology Program at
Critics of Prop. 37, which was defeated by six percentage points, argued that it would be a payday for lawyers suing to enforce violations.
Greene said Evans' legislation would only allow people to collect attorney's fees, and no damages.
He said her bill also clarifies that food manufacturers -- and not retailers -- are responsible for disclosing whether foods contain genetically modified organisms. It also does not cover foods consumed by animals.
"People want to know what's in their food, and that's about it," he said.
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