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Shoppers Hit Grocery Aisles Today to Label GE Food

Shoppers Hit Grocery Aisles
Today to Label GE Food

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 30, 2001

Day Marks National Launch of Citizen's Labeling Brigade

San Francisco - Citizens in 10 cities across America today took to
grocery store aisles to label foods suspected of containing genetically
engineered (GE) ingredients. In doing so, they launched a new volunteer
movement committed to guaranteeing the public the ability to know what
is in their food. In this National Day of Action, community groups used
stickers to place warning labels on food products. The labels indicate
foods that may contain genetically engineered ingredients.

"We are here to uphold the consumer's the right to know what is in their
food," said Simon Harris of The Organic Consumers Association. "The
FDA won't tell consumers if they are eating gene altered food, Safeway
won't tell its customers - so we will'

Volunteers were in the aisles of grocery stores in San Francisco, New
York City, Chicago, Seattle, Portland Oregon, Arizona, Burlington,
Long Island, Rhode Island and Boston. In San Francisco, volunteers
labeled food products such as cereals, salad dressings and baby foods,
as a crowd outside demonstrated against the government's refusal to label
genetically engineered food.

Thirty-two countries have laws requiring food producers to label any
foods containing GMOs, including, China, Russia, Japan, New Zealand
Australia and all 15 countries of the European Union. By contrast, the
Food and Drug Administration has chosen to ignore over 600,000
comments and has proposed only a 'voluntary' labeling standard for
genetically engineered foods.

"The FDA allows voluntary labeling of gene-altered food so we are
here to voluntarily label these experimental foods," said Jeanne Merrill
of Greenpeace. "Consumers deserve the right to know if there are GMOs
in their food and the right to say no."

These actions came as federal legislation is being prepared by California
Senator Barbara Boxer and Ohio Congressman Dennis Kuccinich
that calls for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food. Thus
far, California Senator Dianne Feinstein has failed to support the bill.
Feinstein has received campaign contributions from grocery chain
Safeway and from BIO, the genetic engineering industry trade group.

In a recent ABC News poll (June 2001), 93 percent of respondents said
they wanted mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. Food
producers, farmers and consumers worldwide have shunned genetically
engineered crops because of concerns over the potential adverse health
and environmental effects. Genetically engineered foods have undergone
no long-term safety testing, with some even showing unpredictable
effects on wildlife and the potential to cause allergies.

Members of the public interested in carrying out their own voluntary
labeling of genetically engineered foods can get advice, stickers and
inspiration at www.labelthis.org.

CONTACT: LOCAL CONTACT ; Jim Thomas, Greenpeace 202-320-0655


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