Below is a message from Analiese Paik, editor of the Fairfield Food Guide. We'd like to share her detailed update on HB5117, Connecticut's GMO-Labeling Bill:
Dear Right to Know CT Campaign Members,
A mandatory GMO labeling bill is one step closer to being passed in Connecticut. Today CT HB 5117, an Act Concerning Genetically-Engineered Foods, passed in the CT Environment Committee with a Vote of 23-6, a historic bi-partisan vote and a crucial step in the life of the bill. Five out of ten Republicans voted in favor of the bill and all but one Democrat voted in favor of the bill. The bill will now be sent to the Connecticut House where it will wait until the Speaker of the House, Representative Christopher Donovan, calls the bill for a vote.
During the discussion before the vote today, the Environment Committee reviewed testimony from the public hearing on February 22 and also shared letters that constituents have been sending to them. This bill could not have gotten this far without the advocacy efforts of all of you and the people and organizations you reached out to. Thank you so much for your advocacy work.
Housekeeping: We hope to have an email marketing program up and running shortly and that will allow email subscriptions via the website and Facebook page. In the meantime, we can manually add names. There is a second distribution list that this email is going to the lists generated after Jeffrey Smith’s keynote speech at the CT NOFA conference. Jeffrey Smith’s team is also sending out our emails to their subscribers in CT and surrounding states.
1) Please write or call Speaker Donovan and urge him to call CT HB 5117 in the House. It is within Speaker Donovan's discretion to raise the bill during this legislative session, which ends on May 9, 2012. If Speaker Donovan does not call the bill within this session, the bill dies and will need to be raised again next session in the Environment Committee. If the bill is not called within a week of reaching Speaker Donovan, we are considering holding a rally at the Capitol. Remember we only have until May 9 to get this bill passed in both the House and Senate and then sent to the Governor.
Please find Speaker Donovan's contact information below.
Legislative Office Building, Room 4100
Hartford, CT 06106
2) We are organizing a literature drop in Hartford on Wednesday, March 28th, in order to provide legislators with educational materials about GMOs and the need for labeling. Please let us know if you are available to help by emailing Analiese@snet.net or TaraCook.Littman@gmail.com.
3) If situations dictate, we may plan a rally. Please let us know if you would be interested in attending. We’d need to discuss appropriate signage and key messaging for the media.
4) Please continue to update your friends and networks about the bill and encourage use of the advocacy platform on www.righttoknowct.org to send letters to CT legislators asking them to support the bill.
5) Visit a local farmers’ market or co-op and ask if you can distribute literature about Right to Know CT.
6) Plan an event in your town to foster community dialog about GMOs and the labeling bill.
Upcoming Advocacy Events:
1) March 22 at the Fairfield Public Library, Rotary Room, Main Library, 1080 Old Post Road, Fairfield, CT, 10 am
Join Tara Cook-Littman and Analiese Paik to learn about what Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are and how to avoid them when shopping for you and your family.
2) CCSU SUSTAINABILITY SYMPOSIUM: GLOBAL FOOD, FARMING & SUSTAINABILITY March 29, 2012
The Fifth Annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium, with the theme of Global Food, Agriculture, and Sustainability, will be held at Central Connecticut State University on March 29, 2012. The symposium is free and open to the public. The goal is to engage all segments of society in a discussion about issues related to the production and consumption of food.
People concerned about GMOs, should attend the panel discussion about the organic farmers’ lawsuit against Monsanto and GMO labeling efforts in Connecticut. Panelists include Bob Burns, Biointensive Farmer, Pat Bigelow, Nutritionist and founder of the UConn Student Farm, and Bill Duesing, Executive Director, Northeast Organic Farming Association, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Monsanto.
The symposium will conclude with a Town Hall meeting conducted by Dr. Daniel Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Commissioner Esty will have a discussion with audience members about Connecticut policies and goals related to food and farming.
For a complete list of events taking place at the Sustainability Symposium, go to GESAC’s website at:http://www.ccsu.edu/page.cfm?p=11065
3) Saturday March 31 – Food for Thought Expo at Fairfield Warde High School, Fairfield, CT, from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm – Exhibitors table and Non GMO Workshop at 2:30 pm
The Institute for Responsible Technology and Right To Know CT will have a table set up with Jeffrey Smith’s books and DVDs for sale and literature on GMOs. Analiese Paik will lead a workshop on GMOs, teach attendees how to avoid them when purchasing food, and urge guests to get involved in the Right To Know CT advocacy campaign.
4) Sunday April 1 - Don’t Be Fooled by GMOs - Westport Inn, 1595 Post Road East, Westport, CT
Join the Westport Farmers’ Market, The Wakeman Town Farm, and Right To Know CT at the Westport Inn from 5:00 – 6:30 PM. Non-GMO nibbles will be served. Analiese Paik, Tara Cook-Littman, and Glen Colello will educate attendees about GMOs and their health risks, how to avoid them, and why and how to support HB 5117 GMO mandatory labeling. We will be joined by several state legislators who will share their own views on the importance of GMO labeling. Suggested donation $5 per person, $10 per family, kids and students are free.
Please submit your events to Analiese@snet.net for inclusion in the e-newsletter and on the website. I encourage you to post your events on our Facebook page.
Hope to see you in Hartford next Wednesday. There are almost 200 packets to be distributed to our Representatives and Senators and we sure could use your help.
Thank you again for all your work.
Founder, Fairfield Green Food Guide, LLC
Helping consumers source fresh, local sustainable food. Because our future depends on it.