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Chefs Go to Congress to Demand Labeling for GMOs

Tom Colicchio and his group, Food Policy Action, are at it once again — this time joined by Jose Andres, Chef Art Smith, Sam Talbot, Anthony Lamas, and other chefs to demand labeling for GMOs in a new petition. In fact, the Environmental Working Group states the petition to Congress has 700 signatures from chefs.

And look, there they are now:

They were also joined by Montana Senator Jon Tester.

Politico gets into the nitty gritty of chefs’ new lobbying role, whether in the GMO fight or in the school lunch fight. In fact, chefs looking to get into the D.C. politics game have a lot on their plate:

The school lunch debate will be a big test for the culinary political network, but it’s only one of a long list of food policies the chefs are looking to be active on. In addition to the upcoming advocacy for mandatory GMO labeling, organizers are starting to lay the groundwork for getting more local food support in the next farm bill, which is at least four years away.

The only problem, Politico says, is that unless you’re Colicchio, you’re not taken very seriously as a chef-lobbyist:

But chef activists have other skeptics, too. As one GOP aide put it, it’s hard to take seriously policy advice “from a group who thinks neck tattoos are a good idea.”

Yes, but wouldn’t you be at least a little intimidated by a guy with a neck tattoo? You might listen a little harder to a guy with a neck tattoo.

There’s also a conveniently timed op-ed on the James Beard Foundation website written by Katharine Miller of the Food Action Network, which pleads for unity when talking about all the different facets of food policies.

Right now, though, we’re having a multitude of parallel conversations. Hunger advocates talk about feeding people. Nutrition advocates talk calories, nutrients, and portion size. Sustainability experts talk about climate, water, land, waste, etc. All of these are valuable and important conversations.

We are not, however, talking about them together. As advocates, we often fail to connect the dots for policy makers. It is time for that to change.

If we change the way we talk about food politics and policy, if we can paint a new picture for politicians about what our present food system looks like and how it needs to look in 2050, then we can, collectively, help create the tools and systems by which communities all over the world can feed, nourish, and empower themselves.

[Environmental Working Group, Politico, James Beard Foundation]

RELATED: Tom Colicchio Blasts WSJ Critic on Food Policy Action: ‘I’m Not About To Stop Now’
Tom Colicchio: GMO Labeling Laws Are ‘Beyond Debate’
Vermont Will Likely Pass Nation’s First GMO Labeling Law

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