Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Fight To Label Genetically Engineered Food (GMOs) Taking Place In Connecticut Legislature

Genetic Roulette, documentary about GMOs, movie trailer

There are two bills circulating in Connecticut, in this years legislature, concerning the labeling of genetically modified foods, House Bill 6519, AN ACT CONCERNING THE LABELING OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD, sponsored by Representative Phil Miller, and House Bill 6527AN ACT CONCERNING GENETICALLY ENGINEERED BABY FOOD, introduced by Representative Diana Urban.  These bills would require the labeling of any food, infant formula, or baby food, that contains genetically engineered materials, with "the clear and conspicuous words: "Produced with Genetic Engineering"".

A similar bill was almost passed in last years legislative session, but was "eviscerated by lawyers", working for the state, who some believe, including Rep. Richard Roy, the original sponsor of the bill, were protecting the interests of the GMO manufacturing giant, Monsanto.  (Sidenote: The excuse gave by the state Department of Agriculture, for opposing the legislation, was that it would put Connecticut at a competitive disadvantage with other states that do not regulate labeling.)

The public awareness of the GMO issue, in my opinion, seems to be growing.  There is a push in Connecticut, by many grass roots organizations, like GMO Free CT, to get these two bills passed, and spread awareness of what GMO's are, and the dangers they may pose.  Free screenings of a new documentary about GMOs, Genetic Roulette (trailer at the top of the page), have been taking place all around Connecticut.  We Are Change CT caught up with one of the organizers of these events (video below), Beth Beisel, to talk about the two bills in circulation, genetically modified foods, how people can help this cause, and more.

Jeff Durkin, of We Are Change CT, interviews Beth Beisel, of GMO Free CT

There are a number of representatives co-sponsoring these two pieces of legislation, the list includes:

If you support the labeling of GMO foods, and want to make your voice heard in this debate, you can find out who your local representative is, contact them, and let them know you would like them to be in support of these two bills.  A few phone calls, or e-mails, to a local representative make a difference.  Also, the public hearing for HB 6519 will be held on Friday, March 15th, in front of the Public Health Committee.  The hearing is beginning at 10:30 AM at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT.  Showing up at this hearing, and voicing your opinion, will make a difference.  The organization, GMO Free CT, will have "Right To Know GMO" pins for everyone to wear, at this hearing.

Pushing for more government intervention into the free-market, as this bill seemingly is doing, is the antithesis of my usual libertarian leaning political views, however, because food is already required to be labeled with ingredients, nutritional facts, etc., I believe it is only right that this requirement include a label on items containing these potentially dangerous materials, known as GMOs.

One potential problem that I do see arising from these bills is the effect it may have on a small business, who may not be sure they are using GMOs in their product, and get a large fine as a result.  However, after reading through the bills, I came across one section in House Bill 6527, that provides protection to a small business owner, ignorant of the GMO issue:
 (1) such infant formula or baby food shall not be considered misbranded if it is produced by a person who (A) was without knowledge that such infant formula or baby food was created with materials that were partially or entirely produced with genetic engineering, and (B) obtains a sworn statement from the party that sold such materials to such person that such materials have not been knowingly genetically engineered and have not been knowingly commingled with any genetically engineered materials
There have been past reports on the dangers of genetically modified food ingredients, like Aspartame, which has been linked to diseases like Leukemia and Lymphoma, and scientifically manipulated sweeteners, like High Fructose Corn Syrup, which has been linked to obesity.  Pepsi even plans to begin using an artificial sweetener, made utilizing kidney cells from an aborted baby, in their products.  Even growing genetically modified organisms can be dangerous.  Farmers in India are blaming the genetically modified BT cotton seed for rashes, itching, and dead cattle.

Some people believe that eating Organic food, free of GMO and pesticides, is all hype, and there is no benefit, but the elite of this country, and world, think otherwise.  In my article, While You Eat Poison, The Elite Eat Organic, I point out that a big secret among the extremely wealthy elite of this world, is that many of them only eat Organic food.  The British Royal family, The Clintons, Bush's, Obama's, The Chinese Communist Party Leadership, and much more, prefer, and sometimes only eat, organic.

**UPDATE**:  Breaking News! Connecticut passes GE Labeling Bill for Baby Foods out of committee! Today the Committee on Children voted 11 to 1 in favor of House Bill 6527, An Act Concerning Genetically Engineered Baby Food, that would require the labeling of foods fed to infants that contain genetically engineered ingredients.  Representative Whitt Betts was the only member of the Committee on Children to vote "nay".

Related Stories:

  • Know Your Reps! CT State Senator Joe Markley Wants Fluoride Out Of The Water, and A Ban On Mandatory Flu Shots - March 08, 2013 (link)
  • CT State Senator Steve Cassano Wants Traffic Enforcement "Photographers" Taking Pictures Of You In Your Car - March 06, 2013 (link)
  • Red Light Cameras In Connecticut; Corruption, Agenda 21 & the Rockefellers - March 01, 2013 (link)
  • Do NOT Use Water with Added-Fluoride For Your Baby - January 20, 2013 (link)
  • TV Doctors Are Paid To Push Drugs and Vaccines - January 16, 2013 (link)
  • Pepsi Claims Their New Soda "Pepsi Special" Will Make You Lose Weight - November 14, 2012 (link)

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