Peoria Public Radio Staff
Thu March 6, 2014
IL farmers, lawmakers talk food labelling
State Senator Dave Koehler says consumers ought to know whether processed food they buy contains genetically engineered ingredients.
Koehler’s legislation is modeled after a similar measure that Washington state voters rejected in a referendum last fall.
Kevin Semlow lobbies for the Illinois Farm Bureau, and argues the issue should be handled at the federal level. He calls statehouse pushes for GMO labeling a “hodge podge”.
But Koehler, a Peoria Democrat, says with public opinion shifting, he believes labeling of GMO food is not a matter of “if,” but “when.”
“The public is really demanding more transparency. Not only in government, but in the products they buy. This is really about being more aware, of having more information about what it is that you’re consuming.”
Koehler chairs the Illinois Senate’s Agriculture Committee, and expects to bring the bill up for debate sometime this spring.