Thursday, June 6, 2013

Connecticut Sets the Standard

Many of you remember the disappointment felt after Proposition 37, the bill which would have required labeling of food sold to consumers made from plants or animals with genetic material changed in specified ways, did not pass in California last November. Who could forget how Monsanto, PepsiCo and other large companies fought fervently, by raising nearly $45 million against the bill, and ultimately got their way.

But now, seven months later, the state of Connecticut has taken a stand. The state’s actions this week prove that the majority of Connecticut residents do not agree with the outcome of the November voting. As of this week, Connecticut is the first state in the U.S. to pass a required GMO labeling bill.

Great news, right? Not so fast. It’s not that simple. 

According to the press release for House Bill 6527 – An Act Concerning Genetically-Engineered Food “will require producers to label genetically-engineered food in Connecticut as long as four states from the New England region with an aggregate population of 20 million also adopt a labeling provision. One of the four states must border Connecticut."

For additional information regarding why the GMO labeling mandate in Connecticut must wait, click here

Hold on. The state of California voted against GMO labeling; a decision that went a long way towards determining the fate of GMO labeling for the rest of the country. But now, a state, that voted with overwhelming support to require labeling on GMO foods, must wait until at least four other New England region states agree. And one must even border Connecticut! How long will it take to have more states vote and pass this bill? Why should the state of Connecticut have to wait for their neighbors to stand up to Monsanto and others who do not support GMO labeling?

A big congratulations to Connecticut for taking a stand and being the first state to pass this bill. Join me in encouraging the Northeast region - New England, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania - to continue to vote YES to GMO labeling. It’s our responsibility. Let’s hope the other states are up for the challenge.

To learn more about Connecticut and its fight for GMO labeling, visit GMO FREE CT, by clicking here.