RTK-MN Voter Guide
Polls consistently reveal the same simple fact: Americans want to be informed, right on the label, if the food they buy contains a genetically modified organism (GMO). While labels such as “Organic” and “Non-GMO Project Verified” help guide consumers to foods that are GMO-free, such labeling is ineffective, partly because it’s voluntary. Organic certification, by contrast, is an arduous process that places a huge financial burden on small farmers who grow food the old-fashioned way because it’s been proven safe and nutritious over time. These farmers wear the “certified organic” label with pride. GM foods have not been tested at all. They are not certified anything. Were it not for the harmful chemicals they contain—pesticides and the like—there would be no such thing as “organic.” That agribusiness chooses not to stand behind its own “miraculous” innovations should raise a red flag. What are they afraid of? A label clearly stating that a product was “Produced by Genetic Engineering” places the responsibility where it belongs. GMO labeling is a long-overdue first step in engaging consumers—all consumers—in informed debate about nutrition and food safety. Legislation has been introduced in MN to require labeling of GMOs. Whether the bills pass depends on whether our legislators support our right to know.
RTK-MN mailed every candidate for the MN House of Representatives our Candidate Survey, asking if the candidate supports GMO labeling. We followed up with at least one email or phone call. Candidate replied either “yes,” “no,” “needs more info” (which we followed up with promptly) or “no reply.” Those in the “no reply” category include candidates who were unwilling to complete the survey as well as candidates who did not respond at all.
Voter primaries are on August 12th. They offer voters a great opportunity to connect with candidates. In districts where there are multiple candidates, casting your vote could determine whether a pro-GMO-labeling candidate is on the ballot in November.
The following voter guide shares the responses RTK-MN received from candidates around the state. While we do not endorse candidates, the information in this guide can be used to let you know which candidates support your right to know that GMOs are in the food products you purchase.
We invite you to take an early and active interest in this campaign to help get legislation passed to label GMOs in MN. Contact your candidates about this issue. Learn where they stand. Use the information to make an informed decision in the upcoming elections.
*Special thanks to Mary, Diana, Carolyn, Christine, LuAnn and Christy for all of your assistance in following up with candidates, and to Bonnie Blodgett for assisting with the Voter Guide Education.