After Defeat in California, New Mexico Takes on Monsanto and GMO Producers

A lawmaker in New Mexico wants to make it mandatory for genetically modified foods to be properly labeled in supermarkets across the state. Given the last attempt, though, it’s likely to be an uphill battle.

State Senator Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) has proposed an amendment that won’t be brought into debate until next year, but he hopes it will be approved so shoppers can be sure of what they’re putting into their bodies. If Sen. Wirth’s amendment is approved, it will make it mandatory that genetically engineered food and items containing GMOs are adequately labeled.

“The premise of this amendment is simple – New Mexicans deserve the right to know what’s in the food they are eating and feeding to their families,” Wirth says of his proposal. “Labeling GE foods and feed will empower consumers with basic information to help them decide for themselves the types of food they want to buy.”

While Wirth’s legislation seems logical enough to be approved, precedent actually puts his amendment at risk. Just weeks earlier, residents of California shot down a bill that would have brought mandatory GMO labeling to the West Coast. In that instance, Proposition 37 was expected to be approved by voters, but on Election Day it was rejected by a margin of 53 to 47 percent. Proponents say the last-minute defeat was the result of a multi-million dollar campaign against the item that was waged by the biggest GMO companies in the country.

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