How important is it to you to know what’s in the food you eat? From quality to production standards, we want to know what’s going on with our food. Specifically, we want to know if our food has been genetically modified and what that means for our health.
Many states are joining the list of those who are forming petitions or referenda about the issue. 26 are now on board with the “Right to Know GE Labeling effort.” This effort started from the ground up as a grassroots plan. According to the website devoted to the cause, “…we, the people, are educating ourselves about what we are eating and we want more (not less) information. We’re building a movement of concerned citizens – parents, health care workers, small business owners, farmers, and more – who care about what’s in the food we eat.”
In October 2011, the “Just Label It” campaign was formed when the Center for Food Safety filed a petition with the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to require the labeling of all foods produced using genetic engineering. Soon after, citizens from around the country joined the fight. More than 1.2 million Americans have contacted to the FDA urging them to label genetically engineered foods.
Last June, Connecticut became the first state in the country to adopt GMO labeling. Thanks to Connecticult Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for voting for the initiative despite being threatened with law suits.
The Connecticut bill passed the Senate vote unanimously and the House voted 134-3 in favor. In Maine, the House passed LD 718 with a vote of 141-4.
However, the bills are not perfect. Many, including that of Connecticut, include a “trigger clause” which means that they will not be allowed to start GMO labeling until other states around them do. Connecticut requires signatures from four bordering states and Maine’s bill requires five. As daunting as that sounds, it could put pressure on surrounding states to sign on.
The next states up to vote on the issue are Vermont, in January, and Washington, in November.