MOUNT KISCO, N.Y. -- A group of activists gathered Wednesday in front of Assemblyman David Buchwald's Mount Kisco district office building to support the labeling of genetically modified organism, GMO, food.
The rally, which included chanting and signs, came less than a day after Buchwald, D-Westchester, came out in support of a state bill that will require labeling. The bill is set to be voted on by an Assembly committee.
Although Buchwald was not at the rally due to a scheduling issue, a statement of his support was handed out by Daniel Weisfield, his chief of staff and press secretary.
Announcing his support, Buchwald stated, “I am pleased to announce that following discussions with Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, the sponsor of the bill, we have agreed on an amendment that encourages a federal labeling law. With inclusion of that amendment, I will be voting in favor of the GMO labeling bill when it comes to a vote in the Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. I want to thank all of my constituents who shared their views with me and helped make progress on this issue.”
Buchwald voted against a labeling bill last year. However, it was because it was introduced on a Friday and scheduled for a Monday vote, explained Michael Hansen, a senior scientist with Yonkers-based Consumers Union. Hansen, who is one of the labeling supporters, also talked about how Buchwald had concerns but that they were met.
Activists were pleased with Buchwald's support.
“Very happy,” stated Stacie Orell, a campaign director for the group GMO Free NY.
“We're thrilled about it,” said John Ubaldo of Pound Ridge's John Boys Farm, who was among the folks present.
Alex Beauchamp, who is with the group Food & Water Watch and among those present at the rally, felt that with Buchwald's support there are likely enough votes to move the legislation out of committee.
Buchwald represents the 93rd district, which includes Mount Kisco, New Castle, Bedford, Pound Ridge, Lewisboro, North Salem, North Castle, Harrison and part of White Plains.
The bill's number is A03525B and its text is available on the assembly's website.