AUGUSTA, Maine—A bipartisan group of 95 state lawmakers (representing 21 states) who have either sponsored state GMO labeling bills, or supported state GMO labeling ballot initiatives or bans on GMO crops, have signed on to a joint letter asking Congress to oppose H.R. 1599, or any other federal law that would preempt states’ rights to enact GMO labeling laws.
In their letter, the lawmakers argue that states have a constitutional right to pass GMO labeling laws, as affirmed by a District Court in April with regard to Vermont’s labeling law. They also reject claims by supporters of H.R. 1599 that state GMO labeling laws would create a “messy patchwork” of laws that would be burdensome for food manufacturers.
Maine Rep. Michelle Dunphy (D-Old Town) is lead author of the letter. Rep. Dunphy is also lead sponsor of Maine’s LD 991, a bill before the Maine state legislature that would speed enactment of Maine’s existing GMO labeling law (LD 718) by repealing the clause requiring five contiguous states, including Maine, to pass GMO labeling laws before GMO labeling can be enacted in Maine.