Connecticut’s New Law Ordering Labeling of GMO Foods not as Big a Deal as it Seems
Why does becoming the first state in the country to require labeling of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in food not that big a deal?
Because the law in question can’t go into effect unless several other states take the same stand.
That’s the story out of Connecticut, where Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed legislation mandating that food manufacturers label their products that contain GMO ingredients. However, for now, the statute will lie dormant because of two key provisions:
Four other states must enact similar legislation—and any combination of northeastern states (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey) with a combined population of at least 20 million must adopt GMO labeling laws.
Furthermore, there is this caveat, according to Malloy’s office: “The bill also includes language that protects Connecticut farmers by ensuring regional adoption of the new labeling system before requiring local farms to analyze and label genetically engineered products.”
Malloy seems optimistic that other states will climb on board. “This is a beginning, and I want to be clear what it is a beginning of,” Malloy said at a ceremonial signing of the bill. “It is a national movement that will [be] requiring (food) labeling.”
Beth Buczynski at Care2 was critical of the new law, writing: “What Connecticut has essentially said is, ‘we hear Americans crying out for GMO labeling, and we know that Americans should have the right to know what’s in their food. But we’re too scared to go out on this limb alone. We don’t want to be the only target of the biotech and food industry’s wrath, so we’re going to put this on paper with the expectation that someone else will stand with us.’”
To Learn More:
Why the First GMO Labeling Law in the U.S. Doesn’t Matter (by Beth Buczynski, Care2)
Malloy Signs State GMO Labeling Law in Fairfield (by Genevieve Reilly, Connecticut Post)
Connecticut Becomes, Conditionally, First State to Require Genetically Modified Food Labeling (by Noel Brinkerhoff and Danny Biederman, AllGov)
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