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Organic Consumers Association

539 Federal & State Candidates Answer OCF's GMO Survey

For related articles and more information please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto Campaign page or our Resource Center on Genetic Engineering.

Thanks to everyone who sent the Organic Consumers Fund's 2010 GMO Survey to candidates running in the 2010 elections. 539 congressional, state-wide, and state legislative candidates went on record, letting us know whether they support mandatory labels on foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). 

A list of candidates who answered the survey, along with election results, is below. "Yes" means they support mandatory labeling. "No" means they do not. To search all the candidates who answered the survey, go to http://www.organicconsumers.org/gmo/.

25 US Senate Candidates Answered the Survey:

William Barnes, Democrat, AL
Lost to pro-biotech Republican Richard Shelby.

"YES."

David Haase, Libertarian, AK

"YES."

John Gray, Green, AR
Lost to Republican John Boozman.

"YES."

Duane Roberts, Green, CA
Lost to Democrat Barbara Boxer, who also supports mandatory GMO labels.

"YES. I vehemently oppose all efforts by agribusiness interests, biotechnology firms, and chemical companies to maximize their profits by genetically altering plants and living organisms we consume because we have absolutely no idea what impact they will have upon the health of human beings and our eco-system."

Marsha Feinland, Peace & Freedom, CA
Lost to Democrat Barbara Boxer, who also supports mandatory GMO labels.

"YES. I think that our health is more important than the profits of agribusiness and food manufacturers. If Americans didn't have to work so many hours, they would have more time to shop wisely, grow their own food, cook and enjoy what they put into their bodies."

Bob Kinsey, Green, CO
Lost to Democrat Michael Bennet.

"YES. My campaign is about respect for life. I quote here from my 2008 campaign home page. "Every citizen's life deserves the respect of health care since all are exposed to the increased risks from industrial life. (This includes providing the information necessary to make healthy choices). And the FDA needs to be strengthened to insure our food is safe. Respect for Life means: re-empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to protect our water, air and food. Respect for life by definition is respect for diversity. It means insuring that agriculture does not reduce the vast gene pools with monocultures." Corporations should be prohibited from adding any chemical or biological elements to our environment unless they prove first they will do NO HARM. My campaign is about respect for life. I quote here from my 2008 campaign home page. "Every citizen's life deserves the respect of health care since all are exposed to the increased risks from industrial life. (This includes providing the information necessary to make healthy choices). And the FDA needs to be strengthened to insure our food is safe. Respect for Life means: re-empowering the Environmental Protection Agency to protect our water, air and food. Respect for life by definition is respect for diversity. It means insuring that agriculture does not reduce the vast gene pools with monocultures." Corporations should be prohibited from adding any chemical or biological elements to our environment unless they prove first they will do NO HARM."

Mac Stringer, Libertarian, CO
Lost to Democrat Michael Bennet.

"YES. I do not advocate many of the mandated warnings on packaging however we should know what we are purchasing especially if it could be harmful without our knowledge."

John Mertens, Independent, CT
Lost to Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

"YES."

Jim Rash, Libertarian, DE
Lost to Democrat Chris Coons.

"YES."

Glenn Miller, Independent, DE
Lost to Democrat Chris Coons.

"YES."

Richard Lock, Independent, FL
Lost to Republican Marco Rubio.

"YES."

Chuck Donovan, Libertarian, GA
Lost to Republican Johnny Isakson.

"NO. I believe disclosure what consumers should be looking for. Give them the information and give them the opportunity to buy it or not. However, mandating disclosure is another thing. Again, let consumers decide. I won't be buying from companies who decide to keep things a secret."

Cam Cavasso, Republican, HI
Lost to pro-biotech, Monsanto-funded Democrat Daniel Inouye.

"YES."

Lloyd Mallan, Libertarian, HI
Lost to pro-biotech, Monsanto-funded Democrat Daniel Inouye.

"YES. Genetically modified products should be labeled. Along with the known risks associated with the product."

Jim Miller, Write-In, IN
Lost to Republican Dan Coats.

"YES. I oppose genetically engineered food products. Besides unknown risks, it has the great potential of reducing the potential number of suppliers. The genetically engineered corn is an example: If you grow it, you cannot reseed using that which you harvested. It has the potential of making corn only available from one supplier of seed. I believe that is the intent of the supplier-to corner the market."

Billy Ray Wilson, Independent, KY
Lost to Republican Rand Paul

"YES. If the government is to allow genetically engineered, then by all means the public should know about the product they are eating."

Tommy LaFargue, Independence, LA
Lost to pro-biotech, Monsanto-funded Republican David Vitter.

"YES. I feel genetically engineered food may pose a health risk. I also feel that many or the chemicals that are sprayed on our food is the cause of many of our health problems."

James Lynch, Write-In, MD
Lost to GMO-critic, Democrat Barbara Mikulski.

"UNDECIDED. We need to find ways for more food production here in America and around the world, there are places that don't eat a lot, due to poor learning and support from there own government we can at least try and feed the hungry, but after years of testing to see what effects it will have on the human body. We can meet this goal for our society."

Jesse Holland, Non-Partisan, NV
Lost to Democrat Harry Reid.

"YES. Our consumers should not be confounded in any purchase. We, the citizens, should have knowledge and understanding of our purchases to include any genetic alterations. At the very least, a label, regardless the size, should provide visible indication that a product was genetically modified. All consumers have a right to know what they are purchasing. This openness provides fairness and purchase power for the consumer to control the market for all products. Our collective voice has been ignored for to long. Why do we, the people allow and promote this in the voting booth? As you know, dishonest production and greed negatively impacts consumers. It is not unreasonable, unattainable or impossible to require a stamp, sticker, label or emblem to indicate simply whether a product was genetically distorted. I would encourage you to use your government process, as legally entitled, by writing, speaking and pushing the desire up from the citizens. This is our legal standing in this Republic. The citizens are the building blocks in ownership of our government. We must also voice our appreciation or disapproval of each elected official's employment role in the voting booth. I will truthfully voice any and all legislation requests from the people through our State. The role of a Senator is to support the best interests of the State and the citizens therein. My interest as a candidate will not change after elected as Senator. It is heartbreaking and immoral to constantly watch elected representation miss-represent the people and the State of Nevada. I enjoy the freedoms our country provides as any other citizen. Our collective voice should be adequate to push our suggestions forward and enact laws in our government. With proper representation, we can fulfill the requirements needed in our Constitutional Republic."

Eric Deaton, Constitution, OH
Lost to pro-biotech, Monsanto-funded Republican Rob Portman.

"YES. I agree that it is simple enough to label foods that contain GM ingredients. I hope you realize that a lot of these items are simply cross breeds of various plants and also animals. Humans have been doing this for thousands of years with our food crop plants, dogs, cattle and sheep. Genetically modified is in many cases a very simple procedure that you need not be concerned with. There are cases of concern though, where true genetic manipulation has taken place and there is, as of yet, no way to predict the long term effects of it."

Dan LaBotz, Socialist, OH
Lost to pro-biotech, Monsanto-funded Republican Rob Portman.

"YES."

Rick Staggenborg, Progressive, OR
Lost to GMO critic, Democrat Ron Wyden.

"YES."

Cody Judy, Independent, UT
Lost to Republican Mike Lee.

"NO. The biggest concern I have is the 'control' of the food chain being channeled to commissions like Codex Alimentarius Commission, a body that was established in 1963 by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO). While their mission statement is benign the problem with control is a real danger to our food chain. High bred seeds, that all of a sudden become the only ones legal, and are not self producing. I'm apposed to Governments controlling the food chain verses the free market control. While responsible labeling is another issue, of course we do want to know what we are ingesting so that informed consent is not violated. This is more of a concern for me with things that have multiple ingredients. Genetically Engineered foods either has to do with 'high bred seeds' or the process of which the food is nurtured to a ripened state for consumption. Steroid fed fish should be labeled as such so people can see what they are ingesting, highbred seeds, I don't believe need to be labeled."

Jeff Becker, Constitution, WV
Lost to pro-biotech Democrat Joe Manchin.

"YES. I have a personal vendetta towards repealing Codex Alimentarius: It was conceived the year I was born. When elected as the Mountain State's next U.S. Senator, I will also fight to stop Senate Bill S510, the deceptively named Food Safety Modernization Act. These will be top priorities of mine in Congress. I seek a scaling back of layers of FDA administrative regulations and want this organization completely out of local farms. The Lord gave us an abundance of natural foods that He created. Frankenfoods are a grave threat to our ecology and very existence on this fragile world. "

Rob Taylor, Constitution, WI
Lost to Republican Ron Johnson.

"YES. I totally believe that Americas should have the right to determine and choose to what they can put into their bodies. I believe they need to have the right to see for themselves what is in their food and other items they use."

US House Candidates Who Answered the Survey

Joseph Puente, Independent, UT-3
Lost to Republican Jason Chaffetz.

"YES. I can totally sympathize with these concerns. I think the benefits of genetically modified organisms for the purpose of human consumption greatly are outweighed by the risks to our health and even our economy. I was very moved by two excellently produced documentaries I'm sure you are aware of: "The Future of Food" and "Food, Inc." A major part of the problem, of course, is government subsidies for overproduced crops like corn. I'm no fan of corporate welfare but I'd certainly like to see some advantages given to more independent farmers with an eye toward organic farming, crop rotation and moving away from "factory farms" so that the meat, dairy products and vegetables that we consume are healthier for us. I have no issue of with genetic research for purely scientific purposes however I do draw the line at tampering with our food supply on a genetic level. In the interests of full disclosure: I actually own a GloFish--a genetically modified pet available for purchase and I enjoy him very much but I have no intention of frying him for dinner... he's pretty tiny too so he wouldn't even make for much of a snack. ;-)"

Mike Taylor, Libertarian, TX-18
Lost to Democrat Sheila Jackson Lee.

"YES. It seems only right that people know what they are putting into their bodies for a variety of reasons. Besides personal preferences, there is potential for food allergies. I believe it is important to label the contents of consumables."

Jeff Vanke, Independent, VA-6
Lost to Republican Bob Goodlatte.

"YES."

Ted Ankrum, Democrat, TX-10
Lost to Republican Michael McCaul.

I support labeling. if genetically modified food is cheaper to produce, then consumers willing to consume it should reap the benefits of those lower costs.

Shane Shepard, Independent, TX-4
Lost to Republican Ralph Hall .

"YES."

TJ Thompson, Libertarian IN-6
Lost to Republican Mike Pence.

"YES. I 100% support labeling of Genetically Modified or Engineered food and ingredients."

Rick Hellberg, Republican, PA-2
Lost to Democrat Chaka Fattah

Powel Gammill, Libertarian, AZ-2
Lost to Republican Trent Franks.

"YES. Well, if you truly mean a "Right to choose" above, then you must support the rights of people to genetically market crops and put them on the market. I do. My problems with this are attemots to legislatively block the labeling of food as either GM or non-GM ingredients. That takes away consumers ability to make a choice. The marketing pressure of going into third world countries and giving away huge numbers of GM modified seeds in an obvious deliberate effort to do away with heirloom crops in the area. That is genocidal behavior meant to enslave a people with dependence upon the seed maker. And lastly, legislation and courts that have brutally gone after farmers who have GM plants that have wondered unwanted onto their property. Lives have been destroyed when the trespasser is the GM producer who allowed their patented crop to escape...often damaging the value of the farmer's crop."

Susan Allen, Independent, MA-4.
Lost to Democrat Barney Frank, who also supports mandatory GMO labels.

Genetically engineered foods should be banned for general consumption. Studies show these foods are correlated with altered human DNA.

Lynne Torgerson, Independent, MN-5.
Lost to Democrat Keith Ellison, who also supports mandatory GMO labels.

Absolutely I support mandatory labeling of Genetically Engineered foods and food ingredients. It is part of my platform on my website: www.torgersonforcongress.com Vote Lynne Torgerson for Congress!

Richard Burton, Constitution, MN-8.
Lost to Republican Chip Cravaack.

"YES."

Rodger Jennings, Green, IL-12.
Lost to Democrat Jerry Costello.

"YES.">

Tracey Smith, Democrat, TX-12.
Lost to pro-GMO Republican Mac Thornberry."YES. Agree."

Richard Muri, Republican, WA-9
Lost to Democrat Adam Smith.

"YES. Societies and free markets that are open to truthful and ample information function best. We need to make sure consumers of all products know where it was produced and how it was produced. We need a simple but effective standard on how that information is posted on or near all consumer products."

Dave Glissmeyer, Independent, UT-2
Lost to Democrat Jim Matheson.

I support government oversight and more importantly, rules with teeth that will bite on this topic. There are too many large corporations skirting the rules. They buy a vote with special interest dollars. I won't be part of that game.

Tim Allison, Democrat, CA-24.
Lost to Republican Elton Gallegly.

"YES."

Jon Tack, Constitution, IA-2.
Lost to Monsanto-funded, pro-GMO Democrat David Loebsack.

"YES."

Brent Wangen, Libertarian, DE-AL.
Lost to pro-GMO Democrat Chris Carney.

"YES. People have the right to know what they are purchasing and/or putting into their bodies. In order to have free trade all parties must be fully informed."

Clayton Schock, Whig, FL-20.
Lost to Democrat Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

"YES. I believe we should have the right to choose, and in order to choose you have know the difference. GMOs should certainly be labeled so people can make the choice themselves. I believe we should have the right to choose, and in order to choose you have know the difference. GMOs should certainly be labeled so people can make the choice themselves."

Scott Harper, Democrat, IL-13.
Lost to Republican Judy Biggert.

"YES. Current inspection and testing of imported foods should be bolstered to ensure the health and safety of American consumers. I support efforts to increase locally-sourced food at schools and public institutions.

Earl Lofland, Constitution, DE-AL.
Lost to pro-GMO Democrat Chris Carney.

"YES."

Kevin Bradley, Democrat, CO-5.
Lost to pro-GMO Republican Doug Lamborn.

"YES."

John Hager, Independent, CA-23.
Lost to Democrat Lois Capps, who also supports mandatory GMO labels.

"YES."

Bill Scheurer, Libertarian, IL-8.
Lost to Republican Joe Walsh.

"YES."

Dale Glading, Republican, NJ-1.
Lost to Democrat Robert Andrews, who also supports mandatory GMO labels.

"YES."

Ray Lutz, Democrat, CA-52.
Lost to Republican Duncan Hunter.

"YES. I agree with the requirements for labeling."

Greg Knott, Libertarian, IN-9.
Lost to Republican Todd Young.

"YES. As a child I learned the benefits of organic gardening as a member of Hilltop Garden and Nature Center.  I'm a member-owner of our local Bloomingfood's co-op, a member of Life Community Supported Agriculture, and support the Bloomington Farmer's Market which are my sources of local and organic produce. I support locally grown organic produce and the mandatory labeling of Genetically Engineered food."

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