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New Hampshire House Votes Down GMO Labeling Bill

Loss Makes Contiguous State Strategy Less Likely

Knitting together at least five New England states to impose labeling requirements on foods with ingredients containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) just became more elusive.

That’s because in New Hampshire, the House of Representatives has voted down its version of the GMO bill by 185-162.

Last year, Connecticut was the first state to adopt a GMO law with a trigger for taking effect when five contiguous states adopted similar laws. Maine followed by enacting a law that becomes effective when its legislature adjourns this year.

New Hampshire was the third up but began running into trouble last year when its GMO bill had a rough ride through committee. The debate brought out the usual arguments from both sides.

Proponents say their constituents are concerned about their health and want labeling so they can pick out foods without GMOs. Opponents say there is no evidence of a GMO health threat and that states cannot regulate the interstate commerce of food.

The defeat in New Hampshire is the most significant loss for the pro-labeling side since Initiative 522 was narrowly rejected by Washington state voters this past November. Had GMO labeling supporters prevailed in Concord, they still would have needed to get bills passed in Massachusetts and one other state.

© Food Safety News
  • farmergirl2

    Thanks goodness there are elected officials who can act as leaders, not just pollsters with a vote. The answer for those that care is to only buy foods that already say they are GMO-free, organic, etc. that qualify. You want to know…you pay for it. The rest of us that don’t care, should not have to pay for your unscientific fears. The cost of all this is much greater than just the label. There are different SKU’s, more defined storage and shipping, more liability risk, etc. Thanks you NH for standing up to the crazies!

    • Carlene Wheeler


    • Carlene Wheeler

      farmer girl, if i understand you correctly, you do not think we need GMO labeling? Why? it is not unscientific. Maybe you are on the other side. or maybe i am one of the crazies… what is going on?

    • farmber

      … let’s not fool ourselves — or others. This super-close vote went down due to a tremendous outside disinformation blitz (on supposed costs, etc, etc) from Big Biotech and the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) — who are getting more and more shrill and panicked… (such as pushing for a “Natural” designation for GMO foods — HA!)

      The only thing “unscientific” in this debate is the Biotech Industry’s ludicrous claims for safety and a bona-fide independent review process — but neither exist. GMOs are in our food supply because of a heavily-lobbied governmental green light that totally by-passes any meaningful oversight and regulation. (And here comes 2,4-D compatible crops, once again rubber stamped for full release by USDA)… PRESTO!

      Biotech’s proprietary patent model generates a huge amount of income by design and Monsanto et al are not shy about spreading it through Congress to get what they want — to the tune of a $$$Half-Billion bucks over the past decade. Ditto for funding the “scientific” community and their apologists, not to mention getting fast-track access to World markets.

      All that these votes prove is — Might Makes Right — which only goes so far for winning the hearts and minds of consumers. And each squeaker vote is only proving that Biotech may be “winning” some clout battles (at tremendous cost to the Brand AND the Bottom Line) — but in their hubris they might not have noticed they’ve already lost the war — and poor GMA — they’re bringing the industrialized food system down with them… HOORAY!

    • Oginikwe

      They label them in Europe without any of your “the-sky-is-falling” problems.

  • Carlene Wheeler

    I saw it in the paper! I wrote a note telling the house i think they are all FOOLS.!

  • anthony samsel

    @Farmergirl: These are not unscientific fears, consumers are alerted to products containing soy and peanuts due to allergy considerations from altered proteins in those crops. The fatty acid content has been modified and some people experience anaphylaxis or other symptoms. GM crops are evaluated and approved based on overall potential toxicity by lavage feeding studies or primarily for allergy concerns. Long term chronic toxicity is ignored as are the effects on the human microbiome. Industry has assured regulators in Washington and other countries that there are no harmful effects from these proteins.

    I am currently evaluating the GM events in varieties of corn, soy, canola, cotton seed and sugar beets for their possible effects on bacteria which influence both the human microbiome and that of the soil.

    I can now tell you that there are negative effects on the microbiome by such popular GM events as the glyphosate herbicide tolerant trait GA-21 and the Bt-11 trait which is the Cry 1Ab toxic protein which has been found circulating in the human bloodstream. I have also found adverse effects of the MIR-604 event which is the Cry 3A endotoxin.

    All three of these GM events are destructive of the homeostasis of the microbiome. Destruction of total bacteria counts range between 30 to 80% depending on the stack of the traits. These results will be published later in 2014 after the experiments have been repeated for the third time. Additionaly, the GM isogenic corn line I evaluated consistently produces formaldehyde, regardless of herbicide application of glyphosate or glufosinate, so its inherent in the GM proteins.

    People have a right to know what they are eating. Would I eat this stuff ? Hell no !

    • Oginikwe

      Please, please, PLEASE come back and tell us when your study is published. I heard about those “rogue” proteins back in July of 2012:

      Former Monsanto employee warns of GM food concerns –
      Audio (GM Watch) 7/9/2012: http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=14059:former-monsanto-employee-warns-of-gm-food-concerns-audio

    • viriato77

      Pffft. You going to publish that in Entropy? Forgive me if I hold out for actual peer-reviewed research by people with at least a degree in biology. Best of luck

      • anthony samsel

        @viriato77: This work will be published in a different journal. I just received word that my second paper on glyphosate is being published in the Journal of Interdisciplinary Toxicology and will be available on-line soon at pub med too. The paper is titled: Glyphosate, Pathways to Modern Disease II: Celiac Sprue and Gluten Intolerance

  • Marge Mullen

    of entrenched ignorance masquerading as

  • farmgirl

    The NH Legislature voting down the GMO bill tells me that Monsanto and the other big names in the GMO industry bought may have bought out some of the the NH Legislative reps. All I want is a choice and the NH Legislature is not interested in giving us that choice. If GMOs are not a problem then why is Monsanto and all the other big names in the industry opposing the labeling in food?

    • they are saying they are not a problem because farmgirl they want to sell their products! weed killer is one of the many poisonous items in these GMO’s so would you consider drinking it or mixing it in your food?

  • Martin Dagoberto

    The World Health Organization and the American Medical Association have both called for mandatory pre-market safety testing of genetically engineered foods, a standard the U.S. fails to meet. The World Health Organization says that “GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis” and that “it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.”

    The federal government does not require safety testing of new GMO crops, under a 1992 FDA policy statement that says that all types of genetically engineered crops, even including
    those engineered to produce their own insecticides or withstand applications of chemical herbicides, should be considered “substantially equivalent” to conventional products. Not only was there no scientific basis for that assumption in 1992 (it was written by/for the industry), multiple recent peer reviewed studies conclusively demonstrate substantial differences between GM and non-GM crops, including nutrient deficiencies.

    A National Academy of Sciences report states that products of genetic engineering technology “carry the potential for introducing unintended compositional changes that may
    have adverse effects on human health.”

    Dozens of public health and medical groups support mandatory labeling of GMO foods, including the American Public Health Association, the American Nurses Association, the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Allergy Kids Foundation.

    Worldwide, nearly 300 scientists and doctors, including the developer of the first commercialized GM crop, have signed on to a recent statement citing serious safety concerns with GMOs.

    A growing body of peer- reviewed studies link the consumption of GMO foods to serious health risks including digestive disorders, infertility, immune problems and multiple types of cancer, and these studies warrant further research.

    In the mean time, mothers should be allowed to know what they’re feeding their families.
    And everyone (not just the people who can afford to buy organic) deserve the right to opt out of the GMO food experiment.

    ( yeah, I’m gonna lay it on you like that. #labelgmos )

  • Marsha Bomar

    Fine, go ahead & poison your people who are unaware in your state, your health costs will skyrocket. I don’t shop mainstream stores anymore. Now I KNOW THE TRUTH I only buy ORGANIC. You have lost my business FOREVER, I would never believe you even if it was stated things had changed. I know GMO’s biologically interact with chemical sprays, round up is one of them, causing predators intestines to explode. I believe it is why I have had intestinal problems since 1996 & my Mother passed away from such issues. They are studying the link between the GMO’s & intestinal problems now. This is my opinion, I am a vegetarian soon to be vegan.

  • Bonnie Wright

    NH Right to Know GMO is working on this issue. We’d love to have anyone interested in supporting our goal to label genetically engineered foods in NH connect with us!

    Bonnie Wright,
    NH Right to Know GMO
    info [at] NHRightToKnowGMO [dot] org