Originally published June 17 2013
Connecticut legislature passes nation's first ever GMO labeling bill
by Ethan A. Huff, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The state of Connecticut has officially made history by passing the nation's first ever bill requiring that genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) be properly labeled. After amending an earlier version of House Bill 6527 as it was originally passed by the House, the Senate overwhelmingly voted in favor of this important "right to know" bill, which was not long after it passed in its new form by the House. Once eventually enacted, Connecticut will become the first state in the nation to make plain the presence of GMOs in foods sold at the retail level within its borders.
As reported by GMO Free CT, the statewide advocacy group that helped move the bill forward, HB 6527 establishes new food transparency guidelines that will make GMO secrecy a thing of the past in Connecticut. And even though the factory food industry continually tried to water down the language of the bill, GMO Free CT and thousands of vigilant health freedom advocates working with their senators and representatives fought back, and victory was finally achieved.
"After several days of intense negotiation between the Senate, the House, and the Governor's office, a compromise was reached," announced GMO Free CT, noting that exemptions contained in previous versions of the bill that would have rendered it meaningless were effectively removed in the final bill. "Connecticut will now set the standard for states around the country to follow. We are grateful to all who worked to make this possible."
Other states now need to pass their own labeling bills to enact CT labeling billBut among the major compromises attached to the bill is a provision requiring that at least four other states in the Northeast pass their own GMO labeling laws before Connecticut's can be enacted. One of these states must physically touch the border of Connecticut, and the aggregate population of all the states combined must be at least 20 million.
The alleged reason for the addition of these requirements, as stated by several of the bill's proponents, is to ensure that Connecticut does not stand alone in facing the biotechnology giants that are sure to pounce on the state once labeling becomes mandatory. These so-called "trigger" clauses are also intended to protect small farmers and businesses in Connecticut from potential liabilities that could put them at a competitive disadvantage.
"While we believe we have a right to know what is in our food today, we are satisfied that the language of the GMO labeling bill will give Connecticut consumers transparency in labeling that will allow them to make informed decisions once the law is triggered," adds GMO Free CT.
Let's get GMO labeling passed in Vermont, New Hampshire, New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, and elsewhereJust days after the passage of HB 6527 in Connecticut, Maine passed its own GMO labeling law with similar trigger requirements. According to TreeHugger.com, the Maine bill, known as LD 718, provisions that at least five consecutive states pass GMO labeling legislation before it can go into effect. This means that, besides Connecticut, Maine needs at least four other Northeast states, including neighboring New Hampshire, to pass GMO labeling legislation.
Vermont has already crafted its own GMO labeling legislation, H.112, which was passed back in May by the House, and several other states in the Northeast are also right now considering GMO labeling legislation of their own. Passage of such legislation in states like New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island will be crucial for getting the ball rolling in both Connecticut and Maine, and the hope is that the momentum created by this mutual enactment of GMO labeling laws will only further propel similar efforts across the entire U.S.
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