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Michigan Sen Stabenow opposes SmartLabel bill after fundraiser with Big Organic

, | | March 16, 2016

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Four organic-food industry executives held a fundraiser on Friday for Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow — the Senate’s leading Democrat on agriculture issues — just days before the chamber was set to take up a controversial bill with hundreds of millions of dollars on the line for U.S. food companies.

The event for Stabenow — the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee — in Anaheim, California, was co-hosted by Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb, Stonyfield Farms Chairman Gary Hirshberg, Organic Valley CEO George Siemon and Laura Batcha, head of the Organic Trade Association. . . .

“And with many millions being spent to weaken organic and to block mandatory GMO labeling,” he added, “we need Senator Stabenow now more than ever.”

Related article:  GMO labeling emerges as hot-button issue in organic and conventional food industry fights

A Stabenow aide said the fundraiser had been in the works for months and was not timed to coincide with action on the Republican-authored bill. . . .

On [March 15], Stabenow sided with organic food companies and came out against the bill, authored by Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-Kan.). Opponents argue the legislation fails consumers by preventing states from requiring labels on food products that contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. Stabenow’s opposition is a serious blow to the bill’s chances of clearing a Democratic filibuster.

Stabenow’s office said there was nothing untoward about her participating in the fundraiser even as the Senate was set to begin debate on the GMO bill.

. . . .

Stabenow’s office would not say how much she raised during Friday’s fundraiser.

Read full, original post: Stabenow sides with organic companies after fundraiser

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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