A Push To Support GMO Labeling Law

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Massapequa Park recently saw a bevy of concerned residents, parents and businesses in support of GMO labeling. The South Shore CGMO_022416Aoalition is calling on Senator Michael Venditto to co-sponsor the legislation to add New York to a growing list of states that require labeling of genetically engineered foods that includes Vermont, Maine and Connecticut. Many have signed on to a letter in support of Senate Bill 485, which would require labeling of genetically engineered foods in the state.

At the event, local residents demanded the right to know if food is genetically engineered in order to make informed decisions about what to eat and feed their families.
“We know the effects of the toxic pesticides sprayed on GMO crops, I want to be able to choose wisely what I feed myself and my family,” said longtime Merrick resident and mother, Margaret Maher. “As the chairman of the Consumer Protection Committee, and a father, Senator Venditto should co-sponsor this bill.”

Americans want mandatory labeling of genetically modified food, and according to recent polls by ABC News, that number totals more than 90 percent of consumers. In December, The New York Times penned a powerful editorial supporting GMO labeling and just weeks ago, Campbell’s Soup announced its intention to label GMO products, citing polling that shows an overwhelming amount of Americans want mandatory labeling.

The idea of mandatory labeling is not new, as 64 other countries, including Russia and China, require GMOs to be labeled. The growing campaign to label GMOs in New York is working to spread this message across Venditto’s district. Since January, the group of activists have collected more than 400 petitions, and generated dozens of phone calls into the senator’s office, urging Venditto to cosponsor the bill. Now, parents and business owners across the area are adding their support.

“For me, this is simple. I want to know what is in the food I am feeding my family,” said Farmingdale resident and mother Jacqueline Hassett “I am simply asking for the right to be able to do the research and make a conscious, educated decision on the food I want to provide for them. We know what our clothing is made from, and where. The same is true of virtually everything we buy. How is this not the case for our food?”

The bill to label GMOs in New York, S. 485, currently has 28 co-sponsors in the New York State senate. The bill on the assembly side, A. 617, moved out of the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection with a strong statement in support of GMO labeling from the Chairman, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.

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Jennifer Fauci is the managing editor of Long Island Weekly, Boulevard and Anton Media Group’s local magazines. Her passion for literature, travel and the arts lend to the unique content in her publications. In her time at Anton, she has received first place in the Folio Awards, second place for the NYPA awards and is the recipient of three PCLI awards.

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