A second legislative body wants to require food manufacturers to label products with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The Connecticut Senate has voted 35-to-1 in favor of a GMO labeling bill, joining the Vermont House’s 99-to-42 vote on a nearly identical measure earlier this month.
The Vermont Senate won’t take up GMO food labeling until at least 2014, and the fate of the bill in Connecticut is now up to House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, who has expressed concerns about the bill putting the small state at an economic disadvantage.
As drafted, the Connecticut bill would not take effect until at least three other states adopted similar labeling laws for GMO foods. Sharkey says he’d like to see a compact with several states including a big one like New York State.
A “Just Label It” campaign has been active in as many as 37 states this legislative season, but so far has not been able to move a bill all the way through the process to a governor’s desk.
“The time for GMO labeling is now,” said Lisa Stokke, co-founder of Food Democracy Now, which claims 650,000 farmer and citizen members. “Americans should have the right to know just as the citizens of more than 60 other countries already do.”
Connecticut’s Senate Republican Leader, John McKinney, said the GMO labeling bill did not ban, restrict, or tax anything and just “lets moms and dads know what’s in the food they’re buying for their young kids.”
In Washington State, a ballot measure known as Initiative 522 in November will produce an up or down vote on GMO labeling in the Evergreen State. A similar ballot question in California last November resulted in a slim vote against GMO labeling.© Food Safety News