JEFFERSON CITY, MO. — A bill requiring the labeling of livestock or fish produced using bioengineering techniques has been introduced in the Missouri State Senate. Senate Bill 155 requires any bioengineered meat or fish raised and sold in the state of Missouri to be clearly labeled as bioengineered as of Sept. 1, 2015.
The bill defines the term “genetically modified” to mean any animal or fish, including future offspring, produced using techniques such as recombinant DNA and RNA techniques, cell fusion, gene deletion or doubling, introduction of exogenous genetic material, alteration of the position of a gene, or similar procedure.
“While I understand that food production is an integral Missouri industry, I don’t feel the trend of biotechnology and genetically engineered foods is always apparent to the average citizen,” said state Senator Jamilah Nasheed. “I am merely asking for clarity in the sale of certain genetically engineered, or G.E., foods to Missouri’s consumers.
“I don’t want to hinder any producer of genetically modified goods. However, I strongly feel that people have the right to know what they are putting into their bodies. By requiring a label indicating genetic modification in their meat selection, Missourians will have the choice to purchase the G.E. foods or not. Citizens have the right to be informed and to make their own decisions based on education and information.”
Ms. Nasheed cited legislation passed in Alaska in 2005 that requires the labeling of bioengineered fish sold in the state as an example of such an initiative working.“In 2005, Alaska adopted the first piece of legislation in the country relating to genetically engineered foods,” she said. “The bill was a proactive approach to Alaska’s fishing industry, aimed at protecting that industry’s future.”