Bill to require labeling GMO products to be introduced Tuesday morning

Rows of corn waving in a summer breeze.A bill that could require labeling genetically engineered foods sold in Pennsylvania is slated to be introduced in the state senate Tuesday morning. Several farmers, church leaders and consumer group representatives are scheduled to accompany Sen. Daylin Leach (D- Montgomery and Delaware counties) as he announces the bill on the capitol steps.

The bill would make Pennsylvania the first state to require GE labeling. A similar bill was defeated in California last November as a coalition of grocery sellers, food manufacturers and biotechnology companies joined forces to oppose the bill.

Efforts have been supported in several states by national and local organizations and individuals including food cooperatives, organic farmers, environmentalists and food justice proponents.

Supporters say the public has a right to know what is in their foods. Opponents say the requirement would serve only to scare consumers and drive up the cost of groceries.

The press conference is scheduled to begin Tuesday, March 12, at 10:30 a.m. A prepared statement by Food & Water Watch Pennsylvania Organizer Sam Bernhardt lists several scheduled speakers in addition to Sen. Leach and Bernhardt: Karen Stark, GMO-Free PA; Brian Snyder, Executive Director, Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture; Jon McGoran, Communications Director, Weavers Way Food Cooperative; Roman Stoltzfoos, Organic Farmer, Spring Wood Dairy; Rebecca Frimmer, General Manager, Greensgrow Farm; Maria Payans, Executive Director, Peachbottom Concerned Citizens Group.

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