Dolores Heurta, who protested alongside Cesar Chavez in the 60s and 70s to formalize rights for California’s farm workers, was in Washington, D.C. this week to speak out in favor of mandatory GMO labeling.
Huerta helped to acquire the first collective bargaining agreement between workers and an agricultural company in 1965 as noted in this article by E&E Publishing. She said that GMO labeling is a must for consumers who are starving for information on which foods contain the highly controversial ingredients.
“It gives the average consumer the right to choose,” said Huerta, speaking at a conference at the National Press Club yesterday. Huerta also attended a meeting at the White House to press President Obama on the issue. Obama promised labels for GMOs during his presidential campaign but has yet to make good on the promise.
Huerta added that her experiences protecting the rights and health of people in communities near farms from pesticide exposure has helped motivate her to speak out on the issue of GMOs and the need for labeling.
The event was organized by the Environmental Working Group, which has long been a supporter of mandatory GMO labeling and a large-scale reduction of harmful farming chemicals that are used on GMO and “conventional” crops.
The farming industry has long been in favor of using more harmful chemicals, Huerta said, with field managers even calling them “medicine” for crops during the 1970s.
The political climate surrounding such pesticides has changed drastically in recent years, however, as more and more studies have come out demonstrating their harmful effects including a recent one by the World Health Organization linking glyphosate, which is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, to cancer.
For more on the event and Huerta’s speech, check out the full article here.