Senator Sam Slom’s position statement on GMO labeling, SB 2521, effective February 20, 2014.
Let me answer your questions about my position on GMO labeling and the topic itself briefly.
I have been involved in this issue for several years, and have attended nearly every hearing and briefing. I have met with supporters of labeling and anti-GMO activists. I have watched anti-GMO DVDs. And, I am only one voice among 25 Senators.
My position is very clear and has been publicly stated for years: I absolutely believe in every citizen’s right to know about what they buy or ingest. I praised the papaya farmers who slap a “GMO” sticker on their fruit. But I don’t like this bill.
Many in my own family are for GMO labeling.
The problem is that several key activists, local and from the mainland, have an agenda far beyond labeling. They hate companies like Monsanto and Syngenta for a variety of reasons—and say so. They threaten those of us not in lockstep with all of their ideas and demands. They want to dictate the wording of the label, its size, font type, placement on the product, etc. To my mind these are unreasonable and costly demands.
Also, people have well publicized alternatives, just as they have had for a long time with organic and non-organic. Several producers do their own labeling as “NON-GMO,” so the public does have choices. Individuals and organizations that hand out information also have websites. This means the people do have the right and the ability to know. If businesses do not provide answers to questions, then don’t patronize them. We do have a choice–and choices.
Then there are the scientific arguments, non-action by the FDA, and multiple disputes, right or wrong, on the harmful effects of GMOs. Ingredients are called “poisons” and so on. But that is another matter.
Hope this is of some help in clarifying my position. As I’ve always said, I will be glad to speak with all concerned individuals and businesses. Please call my cell at 349-5438 if you would like more detail.
posted by Lisa Davidson, 2/21/2014