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Berkshire Eagle
Deirdre Cummings

To the editor of THE EAGLE:

While Election Day 2013 has wrapped up here in Massachusetts and across the country, one campaign in particular drew the attention -- and the dollars -- of companies like Coca-Cola, General Mills, and Monsanto. Despite overwhelming support from the public, these big business interests spent millions to try and defeat ballot measure I-522 in Washington state, even though many of their shareholders filed resolutions telling them to stay out of it.

I-522 would put a common-sense law on the books in Washington to require the labeling of genetically modified foods. While the results of the vote are still being tallied, (they have a mail in ballot system and many ballots are not tallied on election day), the likely loss and narrow margins in the results speak to the influence of biggest agriculture and food companies in the country on the debate.

Labeling is a basic consumer right. Companies are already required to list nutrition facts and ingredients for their products, so giving consumers a heads-up on GMOs is a no-brainer. Now is the time to bring this basic consumer tool to Massachusetts by passing a GMO labeling bill which is currently pending in the Legislature. Connecticut and Maine just passed the common sense labeling law. We should do the same.



The writer is legislative director, MASSPIRG


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