On December 11, 2013, Connecticut became the first state in the US to officially pass a law requiring food labels to indicate the presence of genetically modified ingredients.
Enactment of the law, however, is not that simple. The law can only take effect if four other states pass labeling laws. It also requires that a combination of northeastern states – including Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont – with a sum population of 20 million or more, also pass similar laws.
In order to commemorate the passage of the new law, Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy hosted a signing outside of Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe, a raw food restaurant in Fairfield.
Governor Malloy said, “I am proud that leaders from each of the legislative caucuses can come together to make our state the first in the nation to require the labeling of GMOs. The end result is a law that shows our commitment to consumers’ right to know while catalyzing other states to take similar action.”
Tara Cook-Littman, director of the organization GMO Free CT, who also appeared at the ceremonial signing, agrees. She stated, “as the catalyst for GMO labeling in the United States, Connecticut residents should feel proud.
We are hopeful that legislators throughout the Northeast will follow the lead of Governor Malloy and all our legislative champions by passing laws that give consumers transparency in labeling.”
In Maine, labeling legislation has already been approved by voters, and the bill is awaiting signatures to become a law. Like Connecticut’s law, however, it requires surrounding states to follow suit. Pending GMO labeling legislation, in various stages of approval, exists in nearly half of all US states to either require labeling of GMOs, or to ban them.
Currently, 60 countries around the world require GMOs to be labeled, including 15 countries in the European Union. We hope that someday soon, the entire United States will require GMOs to be clearly identified on labels, so that the American people can make informed decisions about what it is they are eating.
-The Alternative Daily