March Against Monsanto 2013

Congress Seeks To Dictate Connecticut And Other States To Override Their Mandatory GMO Labeling Laws

Earlier this year, many in the green community were happy the U.S. government planned to create a bill on reviewing current GMO laws, ones that have remained untouched since the 90s. The Obama Administration made it known said laws were archaic in this age and needed updating. However, with certain people aligned with the Democratic Party who support GMOs and Monsanto, such as Hillary Clinton, the green community were also somewhat skeptical on what might happen.

By the end of the Legislative Branch’s review of the bill, it did pass, but not in a way they expected. The U.S. government stabbed the organic community in the back, making GMO labeling voluntary, but not necessary. Ergo, GMO companies don’t have to warn consumers if their products are genetically modified.

Now that Congress has dictated that GMO labeling is an option, they seek to extend such dictation to state governments that have some sort of GMO labeling law or litigation in the works. The first state set in the crosshairs of their sniper assault is Connecticut.

According to The CT Mirror, Connecticut is the first state in the nation to attempt to pass a GMO food labeling bill. However, that bill is now moot thanks to “The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015.” It creates a federal standard for the voluntary labeling of foods with GMO ingredients, but it also overrides mandatory labeling laws.

Tara Cook-Litman
Tara Cook-Litman, Head of the Board of Directors for “Citizens for GMO Labeling”

Tara Cook-Littman, the head of the board of directors of Citizens for GMO Labeling who fought to incorporate GMO labeling laws of some kind into Connecticut, is now doing what she can to advance their movement, now that their current setup is technically null and void. Right now, Connecticut’s mandatory GMO labeling is triggered to go into effect once other Northeast states, with a combined population of 20 million, adopt similar laws.

“It was the only thing that would pass in Connecticut, and we felt it was more important to get something on the books.”

The issue now is with Congress passing a bill the green community likes to call “The DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act,” the conditions for said trigger may never be achieved. Therefore, Tara Cook-Littman and fellow advocates are gearing up to go to Connecticut legislature to remove the trigger, since Vermont and Maine have now passed GMO labeling laws.

Even though GMO labeling laws have been weakened due to Congress, activists for labeling are still standing strong. With important figures like actress Gwyneth Paltrow and head of Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut, Jeff Cordulack, and others in the green community taking a stand, it may just be a matter of time. Just like Tara Cook-Litman has said, the side for GMO labeling “haven’t lost yet.”

[Featured Image via Win McNamee/Getty, Post Image via The CT Mirror]

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