Tester, top chefs call for food labeling

Senator: Folks have the right to know what’s in the food they eat

(U.S. Senate) – With food experts and famous chefs at his side, Montana farmer Jon Tester today called for the labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Tester, a U.S. Senator and organic farmer from Big Sandy, is a strong advocate for labeling, saying that consumers have the right to know what’s in the food they eat. He supports the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which requires manufacturers to label genetically engineered (GE) foods.

“We should be making it easier for folks to make informed decisions about what they’re eating – they shouldn’t have to guess,” Tester said. “Whether you’re a small producer, a family of four or a famous chef, you have an interest in knowing what’s in the food you eat. Food labeling empowers regular folks to make their own choices. It’s time to give them that power.”

Joining Tester at today’s event were Tom Colicchio, lead judge on the TV show Top Chef, José Andrés, chef and President of ThinkFoodGroup, and Art Smith, chef and founder of Common Threads.

“As a chef and father, I want to know what I’m serving my customers and kids, and the majority of Americans want honest information about the food on their tables,” said Chef Colicchio, who also owns Craft Restaurants and is a co-founder of Food Policy Action. “Having honest, clear labeling of the foods we eat is a fundamental right, one that’s worth fighting for.”

At today’s event, Tester also said food labeling – whether of GE foods or Country-of-Origin Labeling (COOL) on meat – helps small producers by giving them a chance to add value to their operations.

“Small producers work hard to support their families and communities, and we should do everything we can to support them,” Tester said.

Tester said he plans to help re-introduce the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act in the next session of Congress if it doesn’t pass this month. He also recently pushed the U.S. Trade Representative to appeal the World Trade Organization’s recent COOL decision, which the agency did last week.