Congress returns from the Presidents Day recess, I plan to
introduce the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.
I hope that you will cosponsor this important legislation
to require that all foods containing or produced with genetically
engineered material bear a neutral label indicating that fact.
polls have demonstrated that Americans want to know if they
are eating genetically engineered food. A January 1999 Time
magazine poll revealed that 81% of respondents wanted genetically
engineered food to be labeled. A January 2000 MSNBC poll showed
identical results. The European Union, Australia, New Zealand
and Japan already require genetically engineered food to be
year, 98.6 million acres in the U.S. were planted with genetically
engineered crops. More than a third of the U.S. soybean crop,
one-quarter of corn and a third of cotton were genetically
engineered. While this represents a 23-fold increase in genetically
engineered crop production from just four years ago, the health
and environmental effects of genetically engineered food are
not yet known.
the rapid expansion of this largely untested technology, we
should provide consumers with the right to know whether they
are eating genetically engineered food. Congress has already
provided consumers similar rights by requiring the labeling
of foods containing artificial colors and flavors, chemical
preservatives and artificial sweeteners.
genetically engineered food would not be unprecedented for
the U.S. In fact, as part of a recent 131-nation agreement
to regulate trade in genetically engineered crops, the U.S.
agreed to label its international shipments of seeds, grains
and plants that may contain genetically engineered material.
If we can provide this information to our trading partners,
shouldn t we make similar information available to American
join me in providing American families with the right to decide
whether or not to eat genetically engineered food. For more
information, please contact Lisa Moore of my staff at 224-3553.
Boxer, United States Senator