A bill has been introduced in the New Mexico Senate that would require the labeling of any food or commercial animal feed that contains more than one-percent genetically modified material by weight. Unlike Proposition 37 – which failed during the 2012 election in California – the measure will not be placed on a ballot for voters in the state. Instead – it will move through the committee process and then – if passed by the New Mexico Senate – will go to the state House. In Washington – voters could have a chance to vote on a measure to require special labeling of genetically modified foods. The measure’s sponsors turned in petitions signed by an estimated 350-thousand registered voters – all but assuring the GMO-labeling initiative will be certified by the Washington Secretary of State and sent on to the state legislature. The legislature could then either pass a labeling law or leave it to a popular vote on the election ballot this November. If adopted by the legislature or approved by the voters – Washington would become the first U.S. state to require all genetically modified seeds used by farmers as well as food with genetically altered ingredients be labeled as such.
The Seattle-based food cooperative PCC Natural Markets is pushing for the initiative’s passage. A spokeswoman says 62 countries ban, restrict or require labeling of genetically modified food. According to Trudy Bialic – Washington apple and wheat farmers would face a loss of exports if those products turned out to be genetically altered without being labeled.
There’s also a petition that has gathered 1.3-million signatures demanding the U.S. Food and Drug Administration require the labeling of all genetically modified food. The FDA has not responded to the petition.