The people of the United States want to know when there are genetically modified ingredients in their food. Not only do we want to know what we’re putting on the dinner table, we deserve to know – period. Connecticut lawmakers recently took a significant step towards making that a reality when they passed legislation that would require the labeling of GMO foods. While the bill is far from perfect, it does pave the way for similar legislation across the country.
According to CT NOFA, the legislation includes a trigger clause. In order for the law to take effect, four other Northeastern states with a population of at least 20 million must pass similar bills. Considering it took some significant time and work for Connecticut to pass the first such GMO-labeling bill, it could be a while before we see this requirement met.
Voters in Maine recently took steps to pass a similar measure, but there will need to be another two states from the region that includes Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
“I am proud that leaders from each of the legislative caucuses can come together to make our state the first in the nation to require the labeling of GMOs,” said Gov. Dannel Malloy according to RT.com. “The end result is a law that shows our commitment to consumers’ right to know while catalyzing other states to take similar action.”
Consumers around the globe have been demanding more transparency from food producers. While Monsanto and others have successfully spent hundreds of millions of dollars to shoot down GMO labeling bills such as California’s Proposition 37 and Washington’s recent GMO labeling initiatives, GMO-restrictive laws are continuously being passed both nationally and globally.
An estimated 60 countries have approved labeling laws and several others have banned genetically modified foods altogether. Collective Evolution reports that China recently blocked another shipment of US GMO corn from entering their country. In other words, the collective voice of the global community is growing in opposition to GM-foods.
Though the Connecticut law is significantly more watered-down than advocates would ideally like, it’s a start.
“As the catalyst for GMO labeling in the United States, Connecticut residents should feel proud,” said Tara Cook-Littman of GMO-Free Connecticut. “We are hopeful that legislators throughout the Northeast will follow the lead of Governor Malloy and all our legislative champions by passing laws that give consumers transparency in labeling. It is a great honor for all of us to stand with Governor Malloy as he signs the first in the nation GMO labeling law.”