Dear friends and colleagues,
Sorry for the lengthy message but this is important.
This Thursday, February 6th, the Vermont Senate is holding a public hearing on the proposed bill to label GMO foods: Bill H. 112. AN ACT RELATING TO THE LABELING OF FOOD PRODUCED WITH GENETIC ENGINEERING
Thursday, February 6th
Vermont State House
6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M.
If truthful food labels are important to you, please plan to attend the Public Hearing. Help to politely overwhelm the State House – be a body or come to testify. Both will have a great impact. People still matter in Vermont!
Let the VT Right To Know Coalition know you are coming and get details here: http://www.bit.ly/gmopublichearing
(You can just show up at the State House. You do not need to register with us, it’s just helpful in our organizing)
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO TESTIFY
Arrive early to room 11 at the State House (by 5 or 5:30) if you would like to sign up to give testimony. Not sure what to say? Here are some talking points: http://www.vtrighttoknowgmos.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/VTRTK_Talking-Points_v3.pdf
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CARPOOL
Contact Eliza at firstname.lastname@example.org. She is keeping tabs on carpools, vans, and buses coming from all points in the state. (or reply to my email address)
IF YOU CANNOT MAKE IT
You can call the Vermont State House @ (802) 828-2228 between 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. and leave a message for your Senator(s) to pass H. 112 without requiring that other states act first. (you can do this any day)
A LITTLE HISTORY:
In 2012, 400 Vermonters came to the State House for a public hearing on H.112, 111 people testified in favor of the bill. The impact of that hearing inspired VT lawmakers to work hard to pass this bill through the House in May, 2013.
Lawmakers are now getting push back from lobbyists from the biotechnology interests (Monsanto, Syngenta, Bayer, etc) and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA – Pepsi, General Mills, Kraft etc.). These companies have threatened a lawsuit. Why do they want to hide something they claim to be so proud of?
H.112 is constitutionally viable. It has been thoroughly vetted by several legal teams. We need to encourage bravery from our lawmakers to stand up to corporate bully’s. All we are asking for is label like we have for peanuts, aspartame, hydrogenated oil, etc.
Connecticut and Maine have already passed a GMO labeling law, (with terrible triggers requiring that other states pass a bill BEFORE the law goes into effect) and surrounding states have bills under various stages of consideration.
MY TESTIMONY (Has to be 1 minute or less)
There are so many reasons why I think you must pass the bill to truthfully label foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients. In the short amount of time have I’ll choose these three:
- I know that aspartame and hydrogenated oils are bad for me. They are labeled and so I can choose to avoid them. The label does not say they are bad, just that they are there.
- I am allergic to beets, my throat swells up when I eat them. I don’t know if I am allergic to beet sugar – its hard to trace because it is not even labeled as beet sugar. I HAVE had some unexplainable reactions in the past few years. Most of the sugar found in processed foods in the US is derived from GE beets but is labeled just as ‘sugar’. Did you even know that? I am not allergic to sugar, just beets. Your continued allowance of deceptive labeling means that I must avoid all things that contain ‘sugar’. Is that right or just?
- I am a farm to school educator. I teach kids about making healthy food choices and to read ingredient labels. Having deceptive labels make my job very difficult. I like to be truthful. Patented genetically engineered foods which are made in a laboratory are not natural. These kids trust me. How do I explain this to them? I trust you to do the right thing. Pass H.112.
Again, sorry for the lengthy message and thanks for reading this far. Hope to see you at the State House!