STATE HOUSE – Representative Blake Filippi (I-Dist. 36; Block Island, Charlestown, South Kingstown and Westerly) has testified before the House Health, Education & Welfare Committee regarding his legislation (2016-H 7255) that would require grocery stores to post signs informing customers that their products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
“People have the right to know what’s in their food. More and more foods have come onto the market that have their genesis in a petri dish and DNA splicing, rather than natural farming. Basic truth and transparency in food labeling is only fair,” said Filippi.
“Over 25 countries have taken action to protect their citizens from GMO products – either through partial or outright bans, or with labeling requirements. Unfortunately, our federal government has failed to enact even a most basic GMO labeling requirement. It is now left to the state of Rhode Island to enact reforms to fully apprise customers of what is in their food,” said Filippi.
“While I fully support my colleagues’ bills requiring manufacturers to label foods that contain GMOs, I am concerned of potential legal challenges. Our bill is meant to withstand these legal challenges because it labels foods at the point of sale rather than by a manufacturer that operates in interstate commerce. Grocers are asked to post a sign informing customers their food contains GMOs unless the individual packaging states otherwise. This is a smart way to inform customers about the foods they eat while avoiding federal legal challenges,” explained Filippi.
Co-sponsors of the bill are Rep. Scott Slater (D-District 10, Providence), Rep. Teresa Tanzi (D-District 34, Narragansett, South Kingstown), and Rep. Charlene M. Lima (D-District 14, Cranston, Providence).
Legislation to end marijuana prohibition in Rhode Island is now available and has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
In a statement released today, the Gary Johnson 2016 campaign confirmed that plans are underway to schedule a nationally-televised Libertarian Party presidential debate on the popular “Stossel” show on the Fox Business Network. While details are pending, Gov. Johnson’s campaign indicated that dates in March are being discussed.
A statement from the campaign stated, “The Gary Johnson 2016 campaign has confirmed with Fox Business's Stossel that Gov. Johnson will be delighted to participate in a televised debate among Libertarian Party presidential candidates, hopefully in March. We will of course leave the formal announcement of the debate details and date to the Stossel show, but want to express our gratitude to Mr. Stossel for working to find a date for this important event that will not disrupt any planned Libertarian Party activities and that is actually doable for all the candidates who are involved.”
Director and patient advocate of Regulate Rhode Island say Governor Raimondo’s plan is on the wrong track
PROVIDENCE — Governor Gina Raimondo recently unveiled a proposal to create a “tagging” system to track medical marijuana plants in the state. Patients and caregivers who cultivate medical marijuana for patients will be required to pay $150 or $350 per plant for these tags. Polly Reynolds, a registered medical marijuana patient who cultivates marijuana to ease her muscle spasms and pain caused by multiple sclerosis, issued the following statement:
“Instead of levying hefty fees from patients like me who have debilitating health conditions, Governor Raimondo and lawmakers should tax those who use marijuana for enjoyment. For us patients, marijuana is often the only thing that eases our suffering, and it is already difficult to afford because health insurance does not cover it. Raising revenue from seriously ill patients’ medicine is wrong, but taxing recreational consumers is appropriate and could help alleviate our state’s deficit.”
Jared Moffat, Director of Regulate Rhode Island, issued the following statement:
“We tax alcohol, but not prescription medications. Similarly, it makes little sense to extract revenue from sick people who need marijuana as a medicine while keeping marijuana that is used for fun untaxed and in the illicit market. I suspect most recreational marijuana consumers would be happy to pay taxes if only the state would make it legal for them to do so. In addition to generating more revenue, regulating marijuana like alcohol would erode the illicit marijuana market and create new businesses and jobs all over the state. It’s time to get our head out of the sand and move forward like our neighbors in Massachusetts and Vermont.”
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