Democratic US Senator Barbara Boxer has introduced a GMO labeling bill in Congress. A competing Republican bill would prohibit state legislatures from passing GMO labeling laws.
Democratic State Senator Noreen Evans says her bill is about informing consumers.
“This is not an anti-GMO bill,” says Evans. “It does not ban or restrict the use of GMOs in any way. All it does is allow people to be informed consumers.”
A 2012 California food labeling ballot initiative failed. But Rebecca Spector with the Center for Food Safety says, unlike the ballot initiative, the Evans bill makes clear that small farmers would not be affected.
“It really puts the onus on the manufacturer of a processed food if it’s not labeled properly,” says Evans.
The food industry has endorsed a voluntary nationwide labeling program. GMO labeling advocates say states should be free to pass mandatory labeling laws.
A movement around the U.S. encourages people to skip the shopping malls Friday and spend time in nature. Some national parks and state parks in California are waiving entry fees.
The 19th annual Lodi Sandhill Crane Festival this weekend is expected to bring thousands of visitors to see the stately birds.
The Pacific Storm system brought some slight improvement to drought conditions in California and Nevada last week.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing more than $30 million to California and Nevada native tribes for water quality and environmental restoration projects.
A program will begin soon in the Eldorado National Forest to remove live or dead vegetation to prevent the spread of wildfires.