You’ve no doubt heard that the CT General Assembly passed a GMO labeling bill on Monday- the first of its kind in our country. Governor Malloy has publicly said that he will sign the bill into law. Many thanks to those of you who have advocated in any form for its passage. It would not have happened without our voices and the support our state received from national organizations like Food & Water Watch.
What are Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)? Why are they considered risky and unsustainable? Since GM foods aren’t labeled, how are consumers supposed to avoid them when shopping and eating out? Analiese Paik, founder of the Fairfield Green Food Guide, will lead a lively, informative, and interactive 45 minute-hour session that answers all these questions and empowers guests to make Non-GMO food choices at home, at the grocery store, in restaurants, and at the farmers’ market.
Consumers have a reason to be wary of large supermarket honey suppliers. This past February the Department of Justice announced it was bringing charges against two large U.S. honey processors, Honey Solutions and Groeb Farms, Inc., for taking part in a widespread scam by importing honey from China in violation of United States tariff laws. It appears this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Soybean oil and now canola oil (granted generally recognized as safe “GRAS” status for use in infant formula by the FDA in January, 2013) are used by infant formula manufacturers as sources of good fat. We know that about 90 percent of US soybean and canola crop are genetically modified and processed into a variety of industrial and consumer products, including oils. How much of the soybean and canola oils used in infant formulas, including Similac by Abbott, Enfamil by MeadJohnson, and Good Start by Gerber (a Nestle brand), are genetically modified?
Due to a healthy and growing anti-GMO movement, consumers are more aware than ever of just how prevalent GMOs are in our food supply. It remains a challenge, however, for consumers to avoid GMOs at retail because labeling initiatives continue to falter. I feel compelled to do a little hand-holding by giving consumers a holistic framework, along with some tools, for determining which products are GMO and which aren’t.
This year, Connecticut joined about 20 other states that have recently debated laws requiring suppliers to label all genetically modified food. Though Connecticut’s bill died in the last session, House Speaker Christopher G. Donovan, D-Meriden, has begun to form a bipartisan legislative task force to investigate the issue.
Visit Comstock, Ferre & Co., on June 3 from 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m for a free “Heirloom Festival!” Guests can visit the historic Seed Museum, browse the collection of hundreds of heirloom seed varieties, and meet vendors from near and far showcasing their natural products, special food items, and much more. There will be hundreds of heirloom plants for sale, and food will be served all day.
1:00 GMO panel discussion with Analiese Paik, other advocates and legislators.
Connecticut’s Genetically Engineered Foods bill may still be alive, but it is no longer a bill requiring the labeling of GE foods. As of last night, the labeling provision was removed. Why was this bill eviscerated? Rep. Richard Roy of Milford, co-chair of the Environment Committee and the original sponsor of the bill, when reached for comment this morning said “I feel very strongly that someone or some state has to challenge the use of the Bill of Rights, designed to protect we individuals, from using it to thwart the sharing of information and the subjugation of a whole industry.
Right now we need to urge the leadership of the House and Senate to call HB 5117 before the session ends on May 9. The support from CT representatives and senators is strong. But, without the bill being called, there is not much we can do. Please call or email each person listed below, urging them to call the bill so CT can be the first state to pass a mandatory GMO labeling bill.