Which Presidential Candidates Support GMO Labeling on Foods?
This is an unusually raucous presidential election year. With a primary season filled with shouting matches and surprising twists and turns, candidates from both parties continue to jockey for first position in the delegate count to earn their party’s nomination.
We’ve all heard where the candidates stand on hot issues like immigration, gun control, and climate change, but the issue of GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) labeling is not getting as much press. So, where do the candidates stand on GMOs? Do they think they are safe or dangerous? Do they believe every state has the right to pass its own GMO labeling law? Or do they believe that Americans don’t have the right to have foods with GMO ingredients clearly labeled?
Presidential Candidates and GMOs
Let’s take a look at where the candidates stand on a health issue that is so close to our hearts: protecting our loved ones and ourselves from harmful GMOs in our food supply:
Hilary Clinton – Democrat
Former New York Senator and former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has had a long association with Monsanto and the biotech industry. She has stated that GMO seeds can play an important role in controlling world hunger. At a town hall meeting in Fairfield, Iowa, on December 22, 2015, Clinton told the predominantly pro-GMO-labeling audience that consumers have the right to know if they are eating GMOs and that more independent scientific evaluation of GMOs is needed.
Ted Cruz – Republican
In 2013, Texas Senator Ted Cruz voted against a Senate amendment (S.AMDT.965) that would have allowed states to require mandatory labeling of GMO foods. More recently, Senator Cruz echoed his pro-GMO stance: “It is important that our food be safe and the Federal Government has a very important role in ensuring that our food is safe. But I think we should be celebrating the innovations in science that have expanded the ability to produce food… We need to stand up to the hysteria. I would note, for families, for parents, that don’t want to feed their kids GMOs, in the private marketplace, there has grown up an abundant market. You can go and purchase organic, if you want to pay more.”
John Kasich – Republican
Ohio Governor John Kasich has not provided clarification on his position regarding GMO labeling.
Bernie Sanders – Democrat
Bernie Sanders is a senator from Vermont, the third state (after Connecticut and Maine) to successfully pass a GMO labeling law. Sanders supports allowing states to require labels on foods containing GMOs based on the consumer’s right-to-know, but does not believe that GMOs are necessarily bad.
Note: Similar GMO labeling initiatives are continuing in over a dozen other states, in addition to a national initiative, Just Label It!
Donald Trump – Republican
Billionaire New York businessman Donald Trump is a proponent of GMOs and opposes GMO labeling. Prior to the first state caucus in Iowa, the Iowa Farm Bureau gave all primary candidates a series of questions to show caucus members where each stood on key issues. One survey question asked, “Do you support the use of biotechnology in food products and oppose efforts to require mandatory labeling for foods simply because they contain ingredients derived from biotechnology? Donald Trump answered, “Yes.”
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