We encourage you to add your signature to the open letter to G.W. Bush on GM food labeling.
Copy of the letter:
The Honourable George W. Bush
Dear Mr President,
The European Union is about to approve laws on the mandatory labeling of genetically modified food and feed. The idea behind these laws is both deeply democratic and market oriented; to let people make their own choice. When the laws come into force Europeans will be able to make an informed choice. When they choose a product to buy they will see if it contains GM ingredients or not.
Ninety four per cent of Europeans want their food labeled. This you might expect. But what may come as a surprise to you is that almost as many Americans want labeling of GM food -- 93 per cent, according to an ABC News telephone poll from June 2001. And, according to the same survey, 52 per cent believe that genetically altered foods are unsafe. Unfortunately, Americans do not have the choice to either eat or avoid GM food. This is a choice that you should give them.
As Europeans we share your concern for poverty and starvation in Africa. We welcome your commitment to increasing aid and look forward to the day when America will bring its spending on overseas development assistance up to -- or even beyond -- the European average. This will be of much greater help to developing countries than the GM food you currently send them.
On the subject of Africa, Mr President, you should stop making false claims on behalf of the bio-tech industry. You assert that a reluctance to grow GM crops in Africa is responsible for famine there. This is simply not true, and the best proof of this comes from your own country. The US grows the highest percentage of GM crops of any country in the world. Yet 5.6 million American adults and 2.7 million children are classified as 'hungry' by your national Census Bureau. 20 million adults and 13 million children additionally live in households classified as "food insecure". The fight against hunger, it would appear, is dependent less on GM crops than on good politics.
Mr President your country is called the 'land of the free'. But to be free means to have a choice, and only informed people can make a good choice. In a spirit of solidarity we believe that Americans should have the same right as Europeans will now have under our GM labeling laws -- the right to choose. Give your people a choice, Mr Bush: label GM food!
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