Field Notes from the Campaign to Label GE Foods: Connecticut
Supporters of the “Right to Know GMO CT” coalition united at the Legislative Office Building on Feb. 8 to ask the Connecticut General Assembly a candid question: Are you standing up for consumers’ rights to know whether or not the food they eat and feed their families with has been genetically engineered?
Food & Water Watch is excited to support the great work and grassroots power that GMO-free CT has initiated to pass groundbreaking legislation to label genetically engineered foods in Connecticut. The growing Connecticut Coalition includes GMO-Free CT, NOFA CT, Sierra Club, Food & Water Watch and many others – over 100 local, state and national organizations who are committed to ensuring Connecticut consumers know whether their foods are genetically engineered. Over the past few weeks alone, 109 businesses and organizations across the state have joined the coalition, 180 residents have attended campaign action meetings, and grassroots leaders have scheduled over 20 educational events around the state (for a full events listings visit: see www.gmofreect.org).
The vast majority of processed foods contain GE ingredients, which are largely untested, unlabeled, and potentially unsafe. Unfortunately, far too many American consumers remain clueless about whether or not their food is genetically engineered, but Connecticut residents are sharp, informed, driven and refuse to sit back in silence when it comes to demanding that GE food be labeled. Perhaps the most critical action we can take right now towards creating and sustaining an honest food system is to label GE foods. Once these foods are labeled, all consumers – regardless of where their live or how much money they make – become empowered with the knowledge to choose safety over processed chemicals.
“As someone who has lived in the Hartford area all of my life and worked as a reporter for several of the state’s newspapers, I am keenly aware of the sophistication and intelligence among Connecticut residents. I have faith that business owners, residents and coalition allies will not stop fighting until they know for certain that GE food labeling will become a way of life,” says Joanna Smiley, Food & Water Watch Public Relations Volunteer.
Rep. Phil Miller, D-Essex, and Diana Urban, D- North Stonington, in separate committees, introduced a bill to label GE foods, which is currently in the revisor’s office. Next steps and the exact timeframe is still to be determined, but we will keep building public support and awareness for the bill.