The good news: Connecticut became the first state to pass legislation requiring labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs). The caveat: The bill includes a provision that “the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations.” Joining Connecticut, efforts to pass GMO labeling laws are being led in New England by NOFA (Northeast Organic Farming Association) chapters, including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and by MOFGA in Maine. From The New York Times:
Connecticut on Monday became the first state to pass a bill that would require food manufacturers to label products that contain genetically modified ingredients — but only after other conditions are met.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has said he would sign the bill into law, after reaching an agreement with the legislature to include a provision that the law would not take effect unless four other states, at least one of which shares a border with Connecticut, passed similar regulations.
The Connecticut bill also hinges on those states including Northeastern states with a total population of at least 20 million.
“This bill strikes an important balance by ensuring the consumers’ right to know what is in their food while shielding our small businesses from liability that could leave them at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr. Malloy said in a statement issued over the weekend after negotiations on the necessary provisions.
The legislature passed the bill on Monday, 134 to 3.
More than 20 other states are considering labeling laws, including New York, Maine and Vermont. Early polling suggests widespread support for a ballot initiative that would require labeling in Washington, as concern spread about the impact of genetically engineered salmon and apples on two of the state’s marquee businesses.
In 2005, Alaska passed a law requiring the labeling of all genetically engineered fish and shellfish, but Connecticut would become the first state to adopt labeling broadly. Read more…