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Queens Chronicle

GMO food label bill advances

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Posted: Thursday, May 8, 2014 10:30 am

A state bill that would require foods containing genetically modified organisms to be labeled passed the Assembly’s Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee Tuesday.

Supporters say the labels are necessary because shoppers should know what they’re buying and the possible effects of eating GMO foods are unknown.

“GMOs have never been properly tested. We don’t know what effects they’ll have,” Julia Bernhardt, an environmental science major at Queens College, said during a recent event students held to educate shoppers in Flushing about the issue. “We just want to know what’s in our food.”

The agriculture industry differs. A group of nine farm and food organizations issued a press release Tuesday saying GMOs have been found to be safe and that the legislation would have negative impacts on producers, distributors and shoppers if passed. It said the bill would cost a family of four $450 to $520 more for food each year.

“Science has overwhelmingly proven there is no difference in the safety and nutritional value of crops that use genetic engineering,” Jeff Williams of the New York Farm Bureau said in a prepared statement.

Welcome to the discussion.