Yesterday, Connecticut passed HB-6519, a bill that would require the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) food sold in Connecticut. The amended bill, after passing through the Senate this weekend, passed through the House by an overwhelming margin of 134 to 3, and makes Connecticut the first U.S. state to pass a law for GE labeling. Thanks to Connecticut’s efforts in making their voices heard, our nation’s leaders are recognizing the strong support of this issue across the country.
“Connecticut’s victory marks an important step in the national movement for GE labeling, and signifies growing support for the consumer right-to-know,” said Scott Faber, Executive Director of Just Label It.
More than 20 other states are considering similar legislation this year, including Vermont, Maine and Washington. CT’s bill will only 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.”
A federal GE labeling bill was recently introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR). Polls show that more than 90% of American consumers want to know about the food they’re eating, a right held by citizens in 64 countries around the world that already require mandatory labeling of GE foods.
More GE foods, such as salmon engineered to produce growth hormones year round and apples engineered to keep from browning, could soon end up in the food supply without any independent or long-term studies, and most importantly, without labels.
For more information on HB-6519 and Connecticut’s initiative, visit www.gmofreect.org.