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Fairfield: Food Bill Loses its Bite

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FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. - HB 5117, the bill being considered in the Connecticut State Legislature that would have required the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs), has been downgraded to what supporters now regard to be an ineffective piece of legislation. The provision that would have required labeling of all foods containing GMOs sold in the state was removed last Friday.

"Removing this provision left the bill absolutely meaningless," says Tara Cook-Littman, a former New York City prosecutor and co-founder of Right to Know CT, a group dedicated to enacting legislation that would mandate labeling of all foods containing GMOs.

The bill would have been the first of its kind in the United States, according to Right to Know CT and other organizations trying to push for legislation, including the national non-profit, Just Label It. More than 40 other countries, however, including all European Union members, require labeling of foods containing GMOs, according to both groups.

As for who killed Connecticut's bill, there is some disagreement. Supporters such as Cook-Littman accuse Governor Dannel Malloy of eleventh hour negotiations that resulted in the changes to the bill. "You have to look behind the scenes to understand what happened here," says Cook-Littman. "If this bill had gotten in front of the house, it would have passed. But the governor and his lawyers ripped out the section that mattered, effectively usurping legislative power and the will of the people." 

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