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Blumenthal Joins Advocates In Push To Label Genetically Engineered Food

by | Aug 14, 2015 4:30am () Comments | Commenting has expired | Share
Posted to: Agriculture, Business, Congress, The Economy, Environment, Ethics

Christine Stuart photo U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal joined advocates Thursday at the Hartford Farmer’s Market to urge support for the Genetically Engineered Food Right-To-Know Act.

The legislation, which was introduced in February, would require the Food and Drug Administration to clearly label genetically engineered foods “so that consumers can make informed choices about what they eat,” Blumenthal said.

Last month, the U.S. House passed H.R. 1599, which has been dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act by its opponents. It passed the House by a vote of 275 to 150.

“We are gathering today to send a message to my colleagues in Washington D.C. the DARK Act ought to be kept in the dark,” Blumenthal said. “Consumers have a right to the light of public disclosure to let them know what’s in their food.”

Blumenthal opined that it’s unlikely the legislation will pass the U.S. Senate.

“We will drive a stake through the heart of the DARK Act,” Blumenthal said.

He said state rights, when it comes to labeling, should prevail.

Connecticut was the first state in the nation to pass a bill requiring labeling of genetically engineered food. But the triggers in that legislation — specifically a requirement that other northeast states with a combined population of 20 million people pass similar legislation — have yet to be met.

Tara Cook-Littman, chair of Citizens for GMO Labeling, said Connecticut, Maine, and Vermont have passed labeling bills, but Massachusetts or New York would also have to pass a labeling bill before Connecticut would require labeling. Both Connecticut’s and Maine’s legislation include triggers. Vermont’s legislation does not.

However, Cook-Littman said advocates would be back this year to ask the Connecticut legislature to pass a labeling bill without a trigger provision. She said Vermont, which has a much smaller population than Connecticut, is set to implement their law in July 2016.

“That law has already survived a lower court challenge and, if Vermont can implement their law in July 2016 with a smaller population than Connecticut, there’s no reason Connecticut can’t implement their law along with Vermont,” Cook-Littman said.

She said the grassroots movement is more empowered than ever.

“State legislators throughout this country should be outraged right now that the federal government is trying to take away their rights to protect their own citizens,” Cook-Littman said. “This act that was passed by the House is a direct attack on the work Connecticut and Vermont did by passing GMO labeling laws.”

She said the House vote was more about “who is controlling our government today” than about GMO labeling.

Blumenthal said he has bipartisan support for the Genetically Engineered Food Right-To-Know Act in the Senate and the DARK Act is “dead on arrival in the Senate.”

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Comments

(8) Archived Comments

posted by: sofaman | August 14, 2015  8:09am

Funny how “conservatives”

(individual rights)
(“freedom”)

routinely block these measures.

posted by: MyOpinion | August 14, 2015  9:12am

Finally, something I can agree on with Blumin!

posted by: SocialButterfly | August 14, 2015  9:55am

It is ironic the Richard Blumenthal is already feeding us daily with his diversified political posturing agenda while our country is in the grips of bankruptcy “which he won’t address with a ten-foot-pole.”

posted by: dano860 | August 14, 2015  12:14pm

I’m all for listing it on all of the products that contain or are derived from GMO sources.
I also fear that this will increase the prices of non-GMO associated foods.
The next step will be none of these can be served at schools or free food programs. This will be much more expensive to maintain.
Food banks will shy away from these products too and they are struggling now.

posted by: osemasterofdoom | August 14, 2015  1:55pm

osemasterofdoom

Funny how Blumenthal, who consistently votes to empower the federal government to permeate into every facet of our lives, is now crying “state’s rights.”  What a joke.

posted by: shinningstars122 | August 15, 2015  9:49am

shinningstars122

Let consumers vote with their dollars and end the Monsanto special interest grip on our food system.

If we don’t stop them now their will be no end to their profit driven madness.

posted by: Spinoza | August 16, 2015  7:33pm

This is a huge disappointment. GMO labeling is the Left’s version of tea party anti-science nuttiness. The total amount of scientific evidence that has been presented indicating that genetically modified organisms used for human consumption pose a greater danger than non-GMO organisms: ZERO. Why not have legislation that is informed by science and facts, rather than emotion and ignorance? Might just as well require labeling of food produced by jews (btw: I’m jewish), because some people might want to know, right?

If the underlying issues here are the use of pesticides, harmful industrial agriculture practices, Monsanto’s marketing and patent practices and so on, then address those directly. Best not to be stupid, perhaps?

posted by: 06416 | August 17, 2015  1:59pm

I’ll take a tomato with one modified codon that isn’t detrimental to my health and well being over an organic tomato that required a multitude of pesticides to be grown in order to keep pests from destroying it any day of the week.  The thing that frightens people about gmo’s is a basic lack of understanding of what they are and how they work.

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