NH-GMO - Article 32 Petition 2 Label Genetically Engineered Foods

This Petition is Sponsored by the following New Hampshire Legislators

Rep John Hikel

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(You may Sign at the bottom of this page)

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Click this link to contact your NH Reps and Senators

http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx

Please ask them to support this Petition.

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Click here for a map of GMO labeling around the world http://yeson522.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Yes-on-522-Map-of-64-countries-that-label.pdf

This Petition is modeled after Initiative 522 which is very much like New Hampshire House Bill 660

Click this link for a great read on the subject of this petition. http://yeson522.com/

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Summary

The purpose of this Bill of Rights Article 32 Petition is to ensure that the People of New Hampshire are fully informed about whether the food they purchase and/or eat was produced through genetic engineering so they may choose for themselves whether to purchase and eat such food. Identifying foods produced through genetic engineering also protects our state’s export market.

Authority of the People

We, the undersigned People of New Hampshire, "have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign, and independent state; and do, and forever hereafter shall, exercise and enjoy every power, jurisdiction, and right, pertaining thereto, which is not, or may not hereafter be, by them expressly delegated to the United States of America in congress assembled." -- NH Bill of Rights, Article 7

Authority to Petition

We bring Our Grievances to this General Court according to the New Hampshire Constitution, Part 1, Article 32 which states, "The People have a Right, in an orderly and peaceable manner, to Assemble and Consult upon the common good, give instructions to their representatives, and to Request of the Legislative Body, by way of Petition or Remonstrance, Redress of the wrongs done them, and of the Grievances they Suffer."

Authority To Be Heard

We request a hearing of Our Grievances from this General Court be scheduled according to the New Hampshire Constitution, Part 1, Article 31 which states, "The legislature shall assemble for the redress of public grievances and for making such laws as the public good may require."

Findings

We the People of New Hampshire find that:

1. Polls consistently show that the vast majority of the public, typically more than ninety percent, wants to know if their food was produced using genetic engineering. Without disclosure, consumers of genetically engineered food unknowingly may violate their own dietary and/or religious restrictions.

2. Currently, there is no federal or state law that requires food producers to identify whether foods were produced using genetic engineering. At the same time, the United States Food and Drug Administration does not require safety studies of such foods. Unless these foods contain a known allergen, the United States food and drug administration does not require the developers of genetically engineered crops to consult with the agency. Consultations with the United States food and drug administration are entirely voluntary and the developers themselves may decide what information they may wish to provide.

3. Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic engineering can provide a critical method for tracking the potential health effects of consuming foods produced through genetic engineering.

4. Consumers have the right to know whether the foods they purchase were produced with genetic engineering. The genetic engineering of plants and animals is an imprecise process and often can cause unintended consequences. Mixing plant, animal, bacterial, and viral genes in combinations that cannot occur in nature produces results that are not always predictable or controllable, and can lead to adverse health or environmental consequences.

5. United States government scientists have stated that the artificial insertion of genetic material into plants, a technique unique to genetic engineering, can cause a variety of significant problems with plants  consumed as foods. Such genetic engineering can increase the levels of known toxicants in foods and introduce new toxicants and health concerns.

6. Forty-nine countries, including Japan, South Korea, China, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Russia, the European Union member states, and other key United States trading partners, have laws mandating disclosure of genetically engineered foods on food labels. Many countries have restrictions or bans against foods produced with genetic engineering.

7. Numerous foreign markets with restrictions against foods produced through genetic engineering have restricted imports of United States crops due to concerns about genetic engineering. Some foreign markets are choosing to purchase agricultural products from countries other than the United States because genetically engineered crops are not identified in the United States, making it impossible for buyers to distinguish what does or does not meet their national labeling laws or restrictions, rendering United States’ products less desirable. Trade losses are estimated at billions of dollars. Mandatory identification of foods produced with genetic engineering can be a critical method for preserving the economic value of exports to markets with restrictions and prohibitions against genetic engineering.

8. Consumers have a right to an informed choice at the point of sale. Industry data shows foods identified as produced without genetic engineering, including conventional foods identified this way, are the fastest growing label claim.

9. The mandatory disclosure for crops produced with genetic engineering is important to farmers to prevent potential losses to export markets. Preserving the identity, quality, and reliability of New Hampshire’s agricultural products is of prime importance to our state’s fiscal health.

10. Conventional farmers have a right to choose what crops they grow and many conventional farmers want to grow traditional crops developed without genetic engineering. Identifying seeds and seed stock produced with genetic engineering would protect farmers’ rights to know what they are purchasing and protect their right to choose what they grow. Organic farmers are currently prohibited from using genetically engineered seeds or livestock feed.

11. The cultivation of genetically engineered crops can cause serious impacts to the environment. For example, most genetically engineered crops are designed to withstand weed killing herbicides. As a result, genetically engineered crops have caused hundreds of millions of pounds of additional herbicides to be applied to the nation’s farmland. The massive increase in use of these herbicides has caused emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds, which have infested farm fields and roadsides, complicating weed control for farmers and encouraging use of increasingly toxic and more dangerous herbicides. These toxic herbicides damage the vitality of the soil, contaminate drinking water supplies, and pose health risks to consumers, wildlife and farm workers. The public should have the choice to avoid purchasing foods produced in ways that can lead to such harm.

12. While total United States food sales are virtually stagnant, growing less than one percent overall, the organic food industry grew at 7.7 percent according to 2010 data. Sales of organic fruits and vegetables increased over eleven percent, accounting for approximately twelve percent of all United States’ fruit and vegetable sales.

13. Published data shows organic farming is more profitable and economically secure than conventional farming over the long term. This important element of Washington’s economy must be protected.

Constitutional Issues

 

Regarding Article 1:

The New Hampshire Constitution, Part 1, Article 1 states: "All men are born equally free and independent; therefore, all government of right originates from the people, is founded in consent, and instituted for the general good."

This government is founded in the Consent of and instituted for the general good of the People of New Hampshire, We therefore withdraw Our Consent to the lack of current food labeling requirements and desire that State laws be enacted which will allow us to fully know what is in the food we eat.

 

 

Regarding Article 8:

The New Hampshire Constitution, Part 1, Article 8 states: "All power residing originally in, and being derived from, the people, all the magistrates and officers of government are their substitutes and agents, and at all times accountable to them. Government, therefore, should be open, accessible, accountable and responsive. To that end, the public’s right of access to governmental proceedings and records shall not be unreasonably restricted."

Whereas the Our New Hampshire Government originates and derives its power from the People, and

Whereas all Companies, Corporations, LLC's etc... are only allowed to exist by the Authority of that Government, and

We, the People of New Hampshire, therefore have the Right to the Records of the Production methods of our foods and thus We desire that those records be incorporated on as food labeling on all such foods sold in New Hampshire.

 

Regarding Article 12:

The New Hampshire Constitution, Part 1, Article 12 states in part: "Every member of the community has a right to be protected by it, in the enjoyment of his life, liberty, and property; ..."

We, the People of New Hampshire, have a duty to the community to protect it from misleading food production methods that could cause them harm. GMO labeling is a step We The People desire to take towards the protection of Our Community.

Conclusion

We, the People of New Hampshire, for the reasons stated above and for other reasons to be brought forth in testimony, do herby submit to the General Court this Constitutionally Supported Petition asking for an Article 31 hearing to be scheduled by the General Court Clerk at the Courts earliest convenience for the purpose of finding a thorough resolution to this very important health issue, and

Whereas these issues are complex, we suggest that prior to the Article 31 hearing on these issues that the General Court familiarize itself with the issues by going to the Initiative 522 website from which many of the ideas in this Petition were derived from.   -- --  Their website is http://yeson522.com/

 

Learn more about the New Hampshire Petitions Process at www.NHRedress.org

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