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President Obama's legacy must be to require labelling of GE foods to protect public health across America, and to impose regulation on out-of-control agrochemical corporations.
The future of food safety, and the ability of people to avoid GE food is in the President's hands. Only if the President lives up to the promise to label GE food, which he made before his first term, will the public interest be served, and trade deals like the TPPA not founder on the issue of basic rights.
There must be an end to the corruption by corporate interests of good governance and of food safety regulation.(1) Action is even more urgent as a new generation of GE crops resistant to 2,4,D are unleashed after being rubber-stamped by federal US government officials.
President Obama must act to address the conflicts of interest in his administration which is undermined by senior officials' links to industry, and aggressive promotion of GE crops by US diplomats.(2)
There have been attempts in 19 states to go through state legislature to get a system of traceability and labelling of Genetically Engineered ingredients, but these have failed in the face of industry lobbying.
This election, the same industry tactics have worked again in California, where fear and threats of price rises have been used by Monsanto and other agribusiness and food companies such as Kraft, PepsiCo and Nestle, to push the 'no' vote on a ballot to label GM food. (3)
The near-final polls show 47% voted in favour and 53% against proposition 37, which would have required GM labels on food sold in supermarkets - already law in New Zealand and many other countries.
However the strong 'yes' vote in the face of overwhelming pro-GE corporate power, adds support to the federal 'Just Label It' campaign, which aims to get the FDA to require labeling.
Independent safety testing, labelling of GE food and monitoring of public health, must become the alternatives to bullying and scientific deception in trade negotiations for the TPPA.
The re-election of President Obama provides a second chance to deliver on his past promises, and fight to restore safety and integrity to the whole US food chain.