Monday, June 3, 2013

Connecticut Lawmakers Vote to Label GMO Foods

Activist Post

Fresh off global protests against Monsanto, the Connecticut House and Senate agreed on a bill to label genetically modified foods.

"There is mounting scientific evidence showing that genetically modified foods are harmful to our health," said Senate President Donald E. Williams (D-Brooklyn). "There's an increasing avalanche of public support (for labeling GMOs)."

The original legislation would have made GMO labeling mandatory in Connecticut by 2016, but a compromise was made this week to add a trigger to the law requiring other states' participation.

The trigger amendment states the law will go into effect when:
Four states, not including this state, enact a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with the provisions of this subsection, provided one such state borders Connecticut; and (2) the aggregate population of such states located in the northeast region of the United States that have enacted a mandatory labeling law for genetically-engineered foods that is consistent with this subsection exceed twenty million based on 2010 census figures.
In other words, either four other states or another state with the equivalent of 20 million citizens must adopt similar legislation to trigger labeling in Connecticut. The reasoning for the trigger is that it may be unfeasible to demand food labeling only for Connecticut's 3.5 million residents.

"Connecticut will be the first state in the nation to pass a GMO labeling law and this sets the stage for other states to join the growing movement to give consumers more choices. As a small state, Connecticut couldn’t go it alone – this compromise strikes the right balance," said Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden).

Another amendment stripped the exemption for farmers grossing less than $1.5 million in annual sales, which many feel will add additional regulations for small farmers.

Even with these amendments many lawmakers are calling the bipartisan bill a bold first step.

"This is a great day that we in Connecticut can lead the way on helping moms and dads across Connecticut, but I believe this can catch on across the nation, so that they can be informed and make informed choices when they buy foods," said Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield).

"This law doesn't ban, or restrict, or tax anything. It simply lets moms and dads know what's in the food they're buying for their children," said McKinney. "I’m pleased Connecticut is a pioneer in passing this common sense legislation. I urge Washington follow our lead."

Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy was directly involved in the negotiations indicating his intention to sign the bill which would make it the first state in the nation to pass GMO labeling laws.

"This bill strikes an important balance by ensuring the consumers’ right to know what is in their food while shielding our small businesses from liability that could leave them at a competitive disadvantage," said Governor Malloy in a press release.

This past fall, California voters narrowly voted down Prop 37 to label GMO foods on election day. Many attribute the loss to a $50 million anti-labeling campaign by GMO giants like Monsanto and other big food companies.

Another New England state, Vermont, also passed a bill to label genetically modified foods in their state House. However, the bill in Vermont has stalled in the Senate. Maine also has pending GMO labeling legislation.

Currently sixty-four nations including China, South Africa, and all countries in the European Union require GM foods to be labeled. Yet all attempts to label genetically engineered food at the federal level in the U.S. have so far failed.

Most recently an amendment to the current farm bill sponsored by Bernie Sanders (I-VT) that would have required GMO labeling was defeated in the U.S. Senate by a vote of 27-71.

Connecticut's bill may be the first to become law having already unanimously passed the state senate 34-0 on Saturday, with the House expected to approve it and the Governor eager to sign it.

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Anonymous said...

If Monsanto is fighting this hard to conceal identification of their product from the consumer it should show you they are very afraid you will not buy it.

When capitalism becomes decietful and predatorial in nature it no longer serves the greater good

Hide Behind said...

Why GMO's?
How long before the lables read"Almost, as best as we can tell the ingredients have not come into contact with GMO products or processessing sites.Why hasn't not just the labeling but the whole damn growing gor domesticuse been banned in US?
Money and americans hubris of middle class soccor moms and dads, if they can afford to be picky to hell with those who cannot.
Much the same as those who say buy organic and then go to farmers markets and don,'t have any damn way to know other than some computer generated sign and a modern day hippy smiling who looks like a farmer.
My friend has organic food for sale that has no chemical fertilizer on its dirt????????????
He gets fertilizer from factory chicken farms and feed lots where chemical anf hormonal enhancers run rampant.
The possible killings and the ruination of health to citizens. has now been legalized by a lable on the container, and to protect buisness interest; And the fn people of Connecticut call it progressive legislation.
Some where will some one explain the true why of GMO,s existence, profits and controll of wotlds foods and waters ultimate power.
Whe we as a world should be burning those who promote the destruction of our native crops that at one time was so plentifull we burnt themad fuels or buried them in pits even after sending millipns of tons for no cost tppoor nations.
Forget the hype of destructive inects.the destructive insects came from our destruction of native species of crops for to be replaced by geneticly unstable crops. that needed enjancers to gnmore yield per acre(BULK) for profits.
You are what you eat and you are fed crap by your elected nd the monied peoples.

Ian R Thorpe said...

Unfortunately Monsanto's genocidally modified foods are gaining penetration in places where consumers are too poor to fight back without support from their political leaders.

Anonymous said...

Monsanto proliferating GMO's is akin to the CDC playing with viruses.

There is a very good chance this could get ugly and out of control.

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