Saturday, December 6, 2014

More than 700 Chefs and Restaurant Owners Push Congress to Label Genetically Modified Foods

ALLGOV | Dec 5, 2014 | Noel Brinkerhoff

Chef Tom Colicchio testifies
before Congress (photo: House
Committee on Education
and the Workforce
Democrats, flickr, cc)
Hundreds of chefs from around the United States have banded together to demand that Congress require labels on food containing genetically modified organisms (GMO).

Approximately 700 chefs signed a petition given to lawmakers that supports a bill mandating GMO labeling. The legislation, introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-California) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), would also block attempts at the federal level to undermine state efforts to require labeling for GMO foods.

The chefs signing the petition include Tom Colicchio, José Andrés, Art Smith and Sam Talbot. Others helping to lobby Congress were Morgan L'Esperance, Kyle Bailey, Danielle Vogel, Brad Race, Travis Olson, Alex Young, Cathal Armstrong, Luke Zahm, Scott Drewno, William Dissen, Michel Nischan, Andrea Reusing, Hugh Acheson, Jamie Leeds, Brian Johnson, Micheline Mendelsohn, Blake Backman and Cathy Whims.

The petition states: “As chefs, we know that choosing the right ingredients is an absolutely critical part of cooking. But when it comes to whether our ingredients contain genetically modified organisms, we're in the dark. It’s time for Congress to move us forward, not backward, when it comes to our right to know what’s in our food.”

The chefs’ initiative was backed by advocates from Food Policy Action, Environmental Working Group, Center for Food Safety and Just Label It, among other groups.

Violet Batcha, communications and social media manager for Just Label It, said polls show 93% of Americans support transparency efforts to expose which food products contain GMOs.

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