Maine Takes Up Right to Food, GMO Labeling in Public Hearing

Posted on May 7, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

craigA large rally (pictures here)between the State House and Cross Building was held April 30, as hundreds gathered in Augusta to show support or testify on a series of food rights and GMO labeling bills heard by the 127th Maine Legislature’s standing Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (AG) Committee:

    LD 456, An Act To Include Nonalcoholic Malt Beverages in the List of Exempt Products in the Law Regarding the Labeling of Genetically Engineered Products
    Rep. Black of Wilton

    LD 783, RESOLUTION, Proposing an Amendment to the Constitution of Maine To Establish a Right to Food
    Rep. Hickman of Winthrop

    LD 991, An Act To Amend Maine’s Genetically Modified Food Products Labeling Law
    Rep. Dunphy of Old Town

    LD 1326, An Act To Require Labeling of All Genetically Modified Products
    Sen. Burns of Washington

Here is video of the large rally.

During the five plus hour long public hearing, testimony was offered by a variety of individuals and organizations on both sides of the discussions, as well as local individuals and national interested parties. Among those non-legislative members who spoke or whose testimony was presented (partial list):

Proponents:

    Joel Salatin, author, Virginia farmer, and leading voice for small, ecologically-minded farmers
    Jonathan Emord, a Washington D.C.-based attorney and expert on states’ rights to pass GMO labeling laws
    Michael Hansen, senior scientist with the Consumers Union
    Katherine Paul, associate director of the Organic Consumers Association
    Nisha Swinton, New England Director, Food and Water Watch
    Jerry Greenfield, Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder (read by GOP Rep. Matt Pouliot of Augusta)
    Heather Spalding, deputy director of MOFGA

    Nancy Oden
    Bonnie Preston
    Brian Jones
    Heather Retberg
    Hendrik D. Gideonse
    Richard King
    Maria King
    Betsy Garrold
    Joy Metcalf

Opponents:

    Shelly Doak, Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association
    Greg Dugal, Maine Restaurant Association
    Jon Olson, Maine Farm Bureau
    Ellis Additon, Bureau of Agriculture, Food and Rural Resources
    Bruce Krupke, NorthEast Dairy Foods (New York)

Here are videos of the entire public hearing. The work session for these bills is set for May 7.

. https://youtu.be/yh_hIsRHZ74

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