Field Notes from the Campaign to Label GE Foods: Florida

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Authors: Food and Water Watch

Volunteers

Volunteers in the field reach out to their fellow community members.

By Lynna Kaucheck

Floridians from Tallahassee to Miami have rallied in support of labeling genetically engineered (GE) food. Since Food & Water Watch hit the ground in Florida at the end of August, our allies and activists have helped generate over 8,000 petition signatures, over 2,000 emails and nearly 500 calls to key lawmakers. In addition, over 220 businesses and organizations from around the state have joined us in signing a letter to lawmakers, asking them to support labeling GE food in Florida, including Global Organics, Sierra Club Florida Chapter, Florida Farmworkers Association, Florida Right to Know, and Sunshine State Interfaith Power and Light.

Our “Let Me Decide” team is working hard to label GE food in Florida and we’re growing every day. We have solid local groups working in four communities and we’re focused on developing two more. The local groups are run by strategic and passionate volunteers that are out in the community educating people about the issue. They organize educational forums, community dinners and activist trainings, and are instrumental in growing the movement to support labeling.

And all the hard work is paying off! On March 1, GE labeling bills were introduced in both the Florida House and Senate. Representative Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda introduced HB 1233 and Senator Maria Lorts Sachs introduced S 1728.  The whole “Let Me Decide” team in Florida applauds these lawmakers for their leadership on this important issue.

Floridians, like concerned citizens everywhere, want to know what’s in the food their feeding their families and how that food was produced. And labeling food is nothing new to folks in Florida, as they were one of the first states to pass country of origin labeling back in 1979.

When we sit down at the dinner table at night, we want to know that the food we’re eating wasn’t grown in a way that put a family farmer out of business, that it didn’t poison the land that it grew from or the farmworker that helped get it to our table. We want to know that the food that sustains us isn’t also harming us. Above all, we deserve to be able to make informed decisions about the food we buy.

This year’s legislative session runs March 5 – May 3, so we have just 10 short weeks to make something happen. But we’ve built army of activists and allies and we’re ready to fight to make GE labeling the law in Florida. Join us!


Follow us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FWWFlorida

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