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Organic Consumers Association

Take Action: Ask Sen. Warren: Where Do You Stand on GMO Labeling?

  • Organic Consumers Association, October 16, 2013

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto page and our Politics and Democracy page, and our Massachusetts News page.

Last week, the OCA, along with our allies at Occupy Monsanto, delivered Monsanto’s Minion Awards to seven congresspersons notorious for collaborating with Monsanto to take away states’ rights to regulate genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and shower the company with special favors like the Monsanto Protection Act.

Five out of seven of the Monsanto Minions opened their doors for us. But the only two Democrats on our list, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) shut their office doors.

Warren and Udall were targeted for advocating for voluntary, rather than mandatory GMO labels. In August, they sent a letter to the Food & Drug Administration asking the agency to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labels for “bioengineered” food.

Please call Sen. Warren’s office at (202) 224-4543. Ask her to rescind her request to the FDA for voluntary GMO labeling guidance, and support the Boxer Bill, S.809, for mandatory labeling of GMOs.

Although Sen. Warren shut her door, we have reason to believe she may be opening her mind. Jared Gilmour, who reported for the Huffington Post on the awards ceremonies and the Monsanto-throws-cash-around-Congress protest, interviewed Sen. Warren’s deputy press secretary. Gilmour wrote:

After the protest was over, Warren's deputy press secretary, Matt Cournoyer, told HuffPost by email that the senator does in fact support mandatory labels.
 
"The prevalence of genetically engineered food products has increased dramatically in recent years, and Senator Warren has pushed the FDA to do its job and issue mandatory labeling rules," Cournoyer said. "She has made clear that she believes markets are best when they are transparent and regulated with real mandatory rules -- not only guidance -- so that consumers can make informed decisions about products they purchase."

We’ve reached out to Cournoyer to clarify. Does Sen. Warren want mandatory rules for the voluntary labels that Monsanto, the GMA and General Mills want? Or, does she want the mandatory labels on GMO food that 93 percent of Americans want?

The only way for Sen. Warren to prove that she wants mandatory GMO labels is to cosponsor the Boxer bill, S.809. If that’s her position, she needs to let the FDA know.

It’s been a week, and Cournoyer hasn’t returned our calls and emails. Can you help us get his attention? Last time we called, the office was open and the staff was taking calls.

Please call Sen. Warren’s office at (202) 224-4543.

You can say:

“I’ve heard Sen. Warren might be considering changing her mind about labels on food that comes from genetically modified organisms. Is she now in favor of mandatory rather than voluntary GMO labels? If so, is she going to cosponsor the Boxer bill, S.809? And, will she be communicating with the FDA to let them know that she doesn’t want them to finalize the 2001 guidance but would rather the FDA create new regulations for mandatory GMO labels on all foods and food ingredients that come from genetically engineered seeds, genetically engineered animals, animals raised on genetically engineered feed, and animals treated with genetically engineered growth hormone?”

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