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Twenty Years Ago Today: Dan Quayle Announces FDA Policy that Denies Americans Right to Know What's in Their Food

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on May 26, 2012 - 5:08am

Exactly 20 years ago today, Vice President Dan Quayle announced a new policy by the first Bush administration that declared genetically engineered foods to be “substantially equivalent” to foods that farmers had traditionally planted and bred for thousands of years.

With this single policy, the U.S. government radically altered the food supply, introducing novel genes into our food that have been genetically altered in laboratories and never before consumed by humans. While the technology of genetic engineering was brand new, corporate executives at Monsanto colluded with elected officials to make sure that their new “products” were place onto the market as quickly as possible.

The Bush/Quayle 1992 policy, crafted by former Monsanto attorney Michael Taylor, who had been hired by the Bush FDA to fill a new position of deputy commissioner of policy, was designed to fast track approvals of GMOs and guarantee the new seed technology avoid rigorous safety testing and labeling, or as stated, “burdensome regulation”.

Two decades later, Americans are still denied the basic right to know what’s in their food because of this infamous policy, despite the fact that polls regularly show that 90% of Americans believe in labeling GMOs.

But this fall, a coalition of grassroots organitions and organic companies is working to pass the California Right to Know 2012 ballot initiative!

On May 2nd, nearly 1 million signatures from California voters were turned in to country clerks offices across the state to qualify the GMO labeling initiative for the ballot in November.

Already, the biotech industry and Big Food retailers are pledging millions of dollars to attempt to defeat us this fall. Earlier this month in a secret meeting, industry lobbyists promised to raise between $40 to $50 million to kill the GMO labeling initiative in California and deny us our right to know what’s in our food.

The movement to label GMOs in the U.S. has grown exponentially in the past year and now California is on the front lines for this important battle for our basic rights. Click here to get involved to take back your basic democratic rights to know what's in your food!

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