State Sen. Jemilah Nasheed (D-St. Louis) introduced Senate Bill 155 this week.
“While I understand that food production is an integral Missouri industry, I don’t feel the trend of biotechnology and genetically engineered foods is always apparent to the average citizen, “ said Sen. Nasheed. “I am merely asking for clarity in the sale of certain genetically engineered, or GE, foods to Missouri’s customers.”
She said SB 155 requires any genetically modified meat or fish raised or sold in Missouri to be clearly labeled as genetically engineered as of Sept. 1, 2015. Senator Nasheed said her bill further defines the term “genetically modified” to mean any animal or fish, including further offspring whose genetic structure has been altered beyond natural conditions.
Alaska, out of concern over genetically modified Salmon, adopted similar legislation in 2005, according to the St. Louis Democrat. Her bill would give the Missouri Department of Agriculture the authority to continue to demand such labeling beyond its 2015 effective date.
Violations of the law, if enacted, would be a Class C misdemeanor.
Use of recombinant DNA and RNA techniques, cell fusion, gene deletion or doubling, introduction of exogenous genetic material or the alteration of the position of a gene or similar procedure would all fall under the bill’s definition as being genetically modified.
Proposition 37, a California ballot initiative to require labeling of all GM foods, was defeated last November by about 6.5 percentage points. Several states in addition to Missouri have already seen similar bills introduced this year, including New Mexico and Washington State.
The Washington State measure is an initiative to the Legislature, which gives lawmakers the option of passing a bill filed by advocates or an alterative. The Oregon Legislature is also expected to see a GM labeling bill shortly.© Food Safety News