Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida Hosting Day of Action for Genetically Engineered Foods
Activists have been pushing for labeling laws citing potential health issues and lack of peer-reviewed studies deeming GE products as safe.
GE proponents, on the other hand, assert that in order to feed the world, these products are a necessary component.
As activists have been slowly making headway in educating the general public on their concerns, states have begun to pass legislation mandating labeling for all food items containing GE or GMO material. (The most recent wins for activists have occurred in Connecticut in Maine).
With bills in both the Florida House and Senate, Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida are calling for a statewide day of action next Thursday.
The groups will be setting up camp in from of Representative Katie Edwards' office in Sunrise from noon to 1 p.m. on Thursday, February 27.
Their goal is to get Edwards, who is on the agriculture committee, to cosponsor House Bill One, filed by Representative Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda.
Food & Water Watch and GMO Free Florida have already reached out to Edwards office, and are awaiting response on her position.
"She's waiting for it to come up in committee to decide," says Food & Water Watch local representative Vickie Machado. "We met with her secretary in January. We were able to give her a lot of information concerning GMO food risks involved and implications for farmers and consumers."
The demonstration will include signs, street theatre, and a chance for concerned individuals to voice their opinions.
According to Machado, as much as the day of action is intended to illustrate public support to Edwards, it's also aimed at educating the public.
"It's a Let Me Decide campaign," says Machado. "As consumers we have a right to know what's in our food. We want people to know that they have a choice."
As part of the statewide day of action, demonstrations have been planned across Florida. Similar actions are being worked out for Tampa, Tallahassee, and West Palm Beach.
Representative Edwards' office is located at 777 Sawgrass Corporate Parkway in Sunrise. Call Food & Water Watch at 954-372-3843, or visit facebook.com/FWWFlorida.
Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.