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Connecticut Lawmakers Urge Labels for Genetically Modified Food

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 linking Connecticut to a pending referendum in California that would require the labeling of genetically engineered foods is in a race with the legislative adjournment date next week.

Lawmakers pushing for the so-called genetically modified organisms (GMO) legislation say it's important to allow people to decide for themselves whether they want to purchase the controversial products.

But House leaders are concerned over the possible lengthy debate on the constitutionality of requiring the labeling, and making a Connecticut law dependent on action in another state.

"We're trying to get it on the `go' list," said Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, co-chairman of the legislative Environment Committee, who this year has made the labeling issue one of the major goals of his final year in the General Assembly.

During an interview outside the House chamber on Friday, Roy said that getting it on the list for action means that it could hit the House floor for debate at almost any time. He said that similar bills are moving forward in Massachusetts and Vermont.

"We're confident that we're going to have at least three states in New England ready to go once California does its vote," Roy said. "It would put us on the doorstep of having GMO products labeled so that consumers could have an opportunity to know what they're getting."

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