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Letter: Labeling bill will drive up food prices

State Rep. Maureen Mann, the main sponsor of House Bill 660, recently said that you can find no consensus that genetically engineered foods are safe. If. Mann truly believes that GE foods are a danger to consumers, why is she only looking to have foods labeled that are sold in grocery stores, not restaurants? Why not push for warning labels on all food, or even push to have GE foods banned if there is a danger?

The reason is because her statement cannot be any further from the truth. The FDA states on its website that “foods from genetically engineered plants must meet the same requirements, including safety requirements, as foods from traditionally bred plants.”

Agriculture Commissioner Lorraine Merrill pointed out in her Oct. 2 column in the Weekly Market Bulletin, that geneticist and biotechnology advocate Val Giddings told a House subcommittee that his son has life-threatening food allergies and that opponents of agricultural biotechnology claim it increases allergy risks. The reality, Merrill pointed out, citing Giddings’s testimony, is the opposite. Foods derived from biotechnology are the only foods screened for allergenicity, and genetic engineering methods allow for more precise transfer of specific genes, resulting in reduced risks.

The only thing Mann’s legislation would accomplish would be to increase food prices and limit the choices the people of New Hampshire have for food. It would not improve food safety. I hope people will take up her up on her offer and contact her about her legislation and ask her why they will have to pay more for food.



Legacy Comments2

1) If meat is genetically engineered (such as a new GE salmon in the works - http://tinyurl.com/6h4x5kd) it does in fact need to be labeled under this bill. 2) The primary reason for the exemption of animal feed, restaurant food and alcohol is to keep the bill in line with international standards (60+ countries already require labeling) and the bills that have already passed in Maine and Connecticut. Aligning with these other bills also basically guarantees its constitutionality, and minimizes administration costs. 3) The FDA requires NO independent research of GMO food. The companies do the research themselves. 4) Val Giddings is not an independent objective scientist, so I wouldn't trust much that he claims (He is, however, former Vice President for Food and Agriculture of the Biotech Industry Organization which includes Monsanto and Dupont.) 5) Multiple studies conclude that there will be no or very little impact on food prices as a result of this type of legislation. (studies links - http://bit.ly/1ehr7jE and http://bit.ly/QSBqvN) 6) Lastly, a poll released today concludes that 90% of NH citizens - across all party lines - strongly support labeling, and support a state bill to require it. http://tinyurl.com/m7txrd2

How do you figure it will drive up the cost of food? Proof, please. Citation. While I don't necessarily believe ll I hear from the anti GE crowd, this blanket statement that requiring labeling will drive up the cost of food is pure nonsense. All of the food we eat should have all of the ingredients listed, without exception.

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