What’s Happening with GMO Labeling Laws?

What’s Happening with GMO Labeling Laws?

  • posted on: January 5, 2014
  • posted by: 21 Acres
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After the GMO labeling legislation failed in Washington in November local coverage of the issue has dissipated.  Many people are asking us to describe the current status of the issue across the country. Here’s a brief summary of what we know:

Connecticut Voters approved the first GMO labeling law in the country when they went to the polls in 2013.

Connecticut’s law becomes effective only when four other states with at least 20 million people total population, and with at least one state bordering Connecticut, pass similar legislation. 

According to the Connecticut Chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association (CT NOFA), “Even at-first-reluctant Governor Malloy understands. At the ceremonial bill signing in December at the organic restaurant, Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe in Fairfield, he said ‘This is a beginning, and I want to be clear what it is a beginning of. It is a national movement that will require (food) labeling.’ Governor Malloy added: ‘This is the time. You better get ready; people are coming and this is not a movement you are going to stop.'”

In a recent newsletter that we subscribe to, CT NOFA provides a run down of the status of the GMO issue in surrounding states: “Maine’s GMO labeling law is awaiting the Governor’s promised signing. Vermont’s law has passed the House and will come to the Senate this winter.  Massachusetts has proposed legislation that is described as weak but a strong coalition is working to strengthen it.

New York is big and has several large groups working on labeling. Many likely allies there are very immediately involved in fighting the serious threat of fracking and its destructive potential. New Hampshire’s labeling effort is facing stiff opposition, but they are pushing hard. Rhode Island and New Jersey are also working on labeling legislation… ”

The national group, Citizens for GMO Labeling has been formed in order to raise money to help other state pro-labeling groups with resources and advice. Apparently, the cost for enough professional advice to make a big difference at a state legislature is trivial compared to the money spent on voter initiatives such as those here in Washington and California.

— Robin

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