Lobbying for labels.
NYPIRG activists from Queens College were distributing leaflets in local supermarkets to urge Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz to vote in favor of a bill sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and Senator Kenneth Lavalle that requires labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or, GMOs, in New York State.
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CONTACT: Rob Kornblum
QUEENS SHOPPERS SPEAK UP FOR GMO LABELING LAW
Students take to local supermarkets to push for labeling of genetically engineered foods
[FLUSHING, NY] – Today, shoppers at an Associated Supermarket and Aron’s Kissena Farms were greeted by student activists from the Queens College chapter of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), asking them to urge their NYS Assemblymember Michael Simanowitz to vote in favor of a bill that requires labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms, or, GMOs, in New York State.
“New Yorkers have the right to know what’s in the food they consume,” said Julia Bernhardt, Queens College student and NYPIRG advocate. “We are here talking to shoppers about the issue and having them call their Assemblymember to tell him to make sure foods containing GMOs are labeled, just like they are in many other countries around the world.”
This afternoon’s action is part of a larger statewide effort to align New York with other states like Connecticut and Maine, which have recently taken steps to secure labeling of foods containing GMOs throughout the northeast market. The bill—number A3525/S3835—is sponsored by Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal and Senator Kenneth Lavalle.
Students, armed with clipboards full of flyers and carrying signs depicting so-called “franken-foods,” engaged shoppers in discussions about the topic and helped them contact the office of Assemblymember Simanowitz. Simanowitz, who represents Flushing, sits on the NYS Assembly’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection, where the bill currently resides. For it to continue on its path toward becoming law, it must first get voted out of this committee.
“Right now, big agricultural companies like Monsanto are dipping into their endless resources and lobbying our elected officials in a brazen attempt to undermine this effort—just like they did in California and then in Washington State,” said NYPIRG Project Coordinator, Gabe Recchio. “But we know the public is on the side of transparency, not secrecy, and that’s why Assemblymember Simanowitz’s constituents are speaking out.”
Genetically engineered food is labeled in 64 countries, including all European countries, Australia and Japan. Advocates argue that genetically modified food is fundamentally different from non-genetically modified food, and needs to be labeled. GMOs have been tied to the creation of new allergies, the inflated use of herbicides, and have increasingly permeated the agricultural landscape over the last two decades.