genetically engineered foods

Jessica Palombo / WFSU News

Food containing genetically modified ingredients would have to be labeled as such if a bill filed this month passes the Florida Legislature. The bill’s sponsor says people should have the right to refuse genetically modified foods. But food biotechnologists say supporters of the bill overstate the dangers of genetic engineering.

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) is sponsoring the food-labeling bill. Sitting on her front porch, she says she grew up in a farming community and she’s always felt close to the land.

Florida House of Representatives

Genetically engineered foods in Florida will have to be labeled as such if the state Legislature passes a bill filed this month. Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda (D-Tallahassee) says she filed the bill because people should be able to choose what they eat.

No federal law requires such labeling, but Rehwinkel Vasilinda says the movement is picking up steam with other states considering similar laws.

“There’s Republicans and Democrats, conservatives and liberals. And it’s just people that want to know what’s going on and what they’re ingesting," she says.

Ryan Benk / WFSU-FM

Genetically engineered food was the subject of a demonstration at the Florida Capitol on Tuesday. Florida Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda joined her constituents to champion the idea of labeling the modified food.

The demonstration was part of a national event sponsored by the non-profit Food and Water Watch. Activists are calling on Rehwinkel Vasilinda, the Democratic representative for the Florida House district that includes northeast Tallahassee, to sponsor legislation that would put labels on all foods that are genetically engineered.