In Connecticut, HB 5117 has been attracting press attention, as well, and spokespersons for the US Department of Agriculture (led by former Biotech Governor of the Year, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack) and the Food and Drug Administration (steered by former Monsanto lawyer, Food Safety Czar Michael Taylor) stepped in parrot biotech's baloney, insisting that federal regulations exist to ensure GMOs are safe to eat. You can read and respond to their quotes in this article:
Connecticut bill proposes genetically engineered food be clearly labeled
A good example of the federal "safety" review of genetically modified food is the FDA's look at GMO salmon. They found that the manufacturer AquaBounty's own data showed that the Frankenfish was more allergenic, less nutritious and contained higher levels of a hormone linked to human cancers than normal salmon, and yet, they decided it wasn't different enough to warrant further investigation or food labels, if approved. At no point was AquaBounty required to produced evidence that the engineered DNA inserted into the salmon to make it grow faster -- DNA that's never before been consumed by human beings -- was okay to eat.
Analiese Paik, who runs the Fairfield Green Food Guide and was quoted in the article, was absolutely right when she said that the federal government has yet to produce a scientific study on whether or not genetically modified foods are safe.
Another false claim, proffered by the Connecticut Farm Bureau and backed up by Steven K. Reviczky, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's commissioner of agriculture, is that labels are costly and that the burden will fall on farmers. You can read and respond to their quotes here:
Bill Would Require Labels On Genetically Modified Food
The truth is that a bill like HB 5117 would add only one hundredth of of one percent to food costs. These costs would be born by the processors and packers who bear current food labeling costs, not the farmers. The costs described by opponents are the costs of going GMO-free to avoid labels. While we hope some producers decide to do this, it certainly wouldn't be required under the law, and consumers have proven willing to pay a premium for organic and other non-GMO food, so those costs easily be recovered.
For the straight story...
Read: Rep. Roy touts labeling GMO products
Watch: Capitol News Briefing to Discuss Genetically Modified Organisms and a Bill that the Environment Cmte is Considering to Require Labeling of Foods Containing Them
Update - Connecticut Legislation for Our Right to Know About GMOs
By Alexis Baden-Mayer, Esq., Political Director
Organic Consumers Fund, March 7, 2012
Straight to the Source