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Organic Consumers Association

Connecticut House Mows Down Bill Banning GMO Grass Seed

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Connecticut News Page.

HARTFORD - A bill to ban genetically modified grass seed before it arrives in Connecticut hit a wall of opposition in the state House Thursday, going down to defeat despite warnings that GMO seeds could bring a dangerous wave of toxic herbicides here.

The resounding defeat of the legislation, with only 37 lawmakers in favor to 103 against, was remarkable not only for the bipartisan nature of the opposition.

The vote also was a virtual slap in the face of the Senate's top Democratic leader, Donald E. Williams Jr., the bill's strongest advocate. The GMO seed ban won Senate approval Wednesday evening 25-11, primarily with Democratic support.

House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, and 50 of his fellow House Democrats joined GOP legislators to vote against Williams' bill Wednesday. Ordinarily, when a Democratic bill lacks the support of the Democratic House majority, House leaders don't bring it up for a vote.

Sharkey said that since he's become speaker, this was the first time he had called a bill, voted against it and watched it fail. He also said he and Williams never spoke about the GMO grass seed ban.

"I've never, ever been consulted about this bill by anyone in the Senate,'' Sharkey told reporters after the vote. "The advocates wanted a vote on the bill, so I felt it was most important to have the vote and avoid the distraction that was going to inevitably occur if we kept it on our calendar for days or weeks."

When asked if he was concerned that any of his bills will get bottled up now in the Senate, Sharkey said, "I'm not worried about that at all - just as I believe the Senate is not worried about their bills getting through the House. We work cooperatively together.''     


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