Tuesday, August 5, 2014

By the Numbers: Right to Know Colorado Turns in 167,950 Signatures to Place GMO Labeling Bill on Fall Ballot

Right to Know Colorado Hosted a Rally at the State Capitol in Denver on August 4 to Submit Almost Double the Amount of Signatures Needed for Colorado’s GMO Labeling Bill Initiative 48  to Qualify for the Fall Statewide Ballot.

DENVER (Aug. 5, 2014) – In a rally held at the Capitol steps in Denver on August 4, the Right to Know Colorado campaign to label GMO foods delivered 167,950 signatures to the Colorado Secretary of State in support of Initiative 48, thus asserting Coloradans' desire to know if their food has been produced with genetic engineered or GMO ingredients.

With only 86,105 signatures required, campaign supporters were confident that, by turning in almost twice the amount of signatures needed, Initiative 48 to label GMO foods sold in the state would qualify for the fall election ballot.

“I see GMO labeling as a human rights issue,” said Robyn O’Brien, Colorado resident, author of The Unhealthy Truthand founder of the Allergy Kids Foundation. “Moms and families in Colorado and across America have the right to know how their food is made. We know if orange juice comes from concentrate or if milk is pasteurized. With the passage of the Colorado bill, we can collect data on trends around the consumption of food that has been genetically engineered. This data is of enormous value and importance to our farmers, our food companies and our economy, especially in light of the surging demand for food that is free from genetically engineered ingredients."

Featured speakers also included Alan Lewis of Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage; Dave Murphy and Lisa Stokke of Food Democracy Now, a leading consumer and farmer advocacy organization; and Marcy Goetz-Than of Moms Across America. More than 150 rally supporters, including farmers, families and consumer advocates, then marched from the Capitol steps to the nearby office of the Colorado Secretary of State to officially submit the signatures in support of I-48.

“We are so proud of Coloradans today for their overwhelming support of consumer transparency, the right to know how our food is produced, and GMO labeling,” said Tryna Cooper, lead proponent of the Right to Know campaign. “A simple label on the package will not raise prices for consumers. It will give families the choice, and can help protect Colorado’s economy, in particular agricultural exports, as 64 other countries require the disclosure and labeling of GMOs in foods.”

Campaign organizers expect to hear from the Secretary of State within a week to 10 days to find out if the Right to Know Colorado GMO labeling measure qualifies for the fall ballot.

About GMO Labeling
With no federal GMO labeling requirements in place in the U.S., it is estimated that more than 80% of conventional processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients, primarily from GMO corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and other GMO crops. However, according to a July 2013 New York Times survey, Americans overwhelmingly support GMO labeling, with 93% of respondents saying that foods containing genetically modified or GMO ingredients should be identified. While pro-biotech interests claim that GMOs are safe, a growing body of scientific research suggests there may be enough risks to justify the need for consumer transparency. More than 64 other countries require mandatory labeling of genetically engineered or GMO foods. Colorado joins more than two dozen other states, including Oregon, Arizona, Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, in calling for GMO labeling legislation.

About Right to Know Colorado
Right to Know Colorado GMO is a grassroots campaign to achieve mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods or GMOs across the state. Right to Know Colorado is built on the foundation that we have the basic right to know what is in our food and what we are feeding our families. The campaign gives Coloradans the opportunity to make informed decisions about their diet, health, and general lifestyle. Food labels list and describe nearly every detailed component of the food product, from the caloric values and processing information, to the fat and protein content and the known allergens. Adding a simple label for GMO ingredients would fulfill Colorado consumers’ right to know, enabling them to make educated food purchases and dietary choices for themselves and their families

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