By now, if you're following the Genetically Modified Labeling Movement, you probably know that Connecticut's House of Representatives passed a law that mandates that food containing GM ingredients will be labeled. Yes, there is a trigger clause which requires that four other states must pass similar legislation and that the states represent a population of 20 million people or more. Yes, the bill is slightly watered down and a stricter law would be more effective - but it would not have passed. However, this legislation is a thrilling step in the right direction. With the number of states around the country that have GMO-labeling movements and have already drafted GMO labeling bills (though they have all failed), it is clear that the momentum has shifted toward consumer rights and honest labeling.
The Connecticut bill is also exciting, because it is purely the work of one very dedicated coalition of activists, GMO Free CT and their mobilization of supporters and partner organizations. Tara Cook-Littman, the head of GMO Free CT has been the movement's fearless leader and tireless advocate. If you follow us on Facebook, you also probably noticed our facebook was just re-postings of GMO Free CT's posts for much of the week. We are so appreciative of Tara and GMO Free CT's leadership, strength and focus.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy said this law passed because “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,” he said in a statement.
The bill is also inspiring because:
1. It is possible to beat the biotech industry and food industry in the legislative process
2. When constituents ask for something relentlessly, no matter where the campaign funds are coming from, your representative will listen to you!
In a year when most levels of our government have seemed ineffective, and following years of nearly unregulated biotechnology integration into our food system - this is a wonderful victory for consumers, farmers and environmentalists.