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Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin

#TruthInTrade Day 8: Trade Agreements Make it Harder to Know if You Are Eating Genetically Engineered Food

Mar 26, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today continued his #TruthInTrade campaign to highlight the unintended consequences of free trade agreements.  Last week the campaign focused on concrete examples of how multinational corporations use legal advantages allowed by trade agreements to overturn laws protecting the environment and people.  This week the stories will focus on the potential threats trade deals, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), pose to food safety, environmental protection, jobs, and the economy.  More information about #TruthinTrade is available here.

“People have a right to know what’s in their food,” said Representative Pocan. “Trade agreements could empower corporations to sue state and local governments and overturn local laws requiring genetically engineered food is clearly identified. This could make it harder for consumers to make choices about the food they eat.”

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) is already present in an estimated 75% of the foods in America's restaurants and supermarket shelves.  For example, genetically engineered salmon, created in a secretive research base in the Panama rainforest, grow at almost twice the rate of a normal Atlantic salmon. This modern day “frankenfish” has been approved for public consumption, but do you know if the salmon you’re eating is modified or not?  Nearly half of all U.S. states have introduced laws requiring labeling or prohibiting genetically engineered foods. Trade agreements could make it harder for you to find out what you are eating – including things like “frankenfish” – by overturning state laws that require GMO’s to be labeled.