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MINNESOTA NEWS ROUND-UP: State House committee holds hearing on GMO labeling

ST. PAUL - The Minnesota state House Commerce Committee heard informational testimony on a bill that would mandate that the phrase "Produced with Genetic Engineering" be placed on any package of such food sold in Minnesota. 

Genetically engineered seed used to grow crops in Minnesota would also have to be labeled.  Liz McMahon of Mississippi Natural Foods Coop in St. Paul says such labeling is something Minnesotans want, they want to know where their food comes from and how it was produced.  Perry Aasness with the Minnesota AgriGrowth Council says the organization opposes the bill, and notes that GMO's have been in use in U.S. foods for 17 years.  He claims foods derived by agriculture bio-technology have been eaten by billions of people across the world without a single documented health problem.  The legislation penned by DFL Representative Karen Clark missed the deadline for the current session, but she plans to reintroduce it next year.  


U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (DFL-Plymouth) is encouraging Minnesotans to take part in today's statewide tornado drills.  She says it's also a good time to sit down with your family and discuss severe weather preparedness.  She says Minnesota has a lot of tornado touchdowns and in 2010 had more than any other state in the nation.  Statewide tornado warning drills will be at 1:45 this afternoon and 6:55 this evening.


Authorities in northeastern Minnesota are asking for the public's help locating a missing man from rural Bigfork.  The Itasca County Sheriff's Office says 51-year-old Gregory Thurston is six feet tall, weighs 180 pounds and has blue eyes, shoulder length sandy hair and a thin moustache.  Thurston was last seen Wednesday night on foot in the Bigfork area and did not take his medications when he left.  Anyone who sees Thurston is asked to call 911 and should not approach him.


A somber night as hundreds gathered on the campus of North Dakota's Valley City State University to honor the life of a college student from Minnesota, who drowned this week in a rafting accident.  Twenty-three-year-old Dan Buehner grew up in Blaine, he was a senior who majored in business administration and was a catcher on the university's baseball team.  Two of Buehner's teammates who were with him when the raft capsized were rescued.  Valley City State faculty plan to set up a fund in Dan's honor.


The Minnesota-based Replacements are playing a "homecoming concert" this fall for the first time since their 22-year reunion last summer.   The long-awaited show is September 13th at Midway Stadium in St. Paul.  It will be the Replacements first hometown gig since February 1991 at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis.  Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson got back together in August 2013 and performed at festivals in Canada, Chicago and Denver.  The 'Mats just played last weekend's Coachcella Fest in Southern California.  Tickets for the Midway show go on sale May 3rd. ( or First Avenue)