In 2013, Connecticut became the first state to require GMO labeling. The law will not go into effect until other states pass similar legislation. This law is bad for Connecticut consumers, potentially costing them hundreds of dollars more annually at the grocery store. It’s bad for food producers, farmers, retailers, and the food industry in Connecticut as it increases their costs, bureaucracy, and forces them to implement labeling standards that don’t exist anywhere else. And it’s bad for the Connecticut biotech industry and the jobs it brings as it establishes our state as a place that is unfriendly to safe science.
And the Food and Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and even the American Medical Association all oppose forced labeling of genetically modified products. Why? Because the science facts are indisputable: foods derived from genetically engineered seeds are as safe and nutritious as any other food product, making labeling completely unnecessary and unwise. Thousands upon thousands of products on store shelves would require special labels not needed in the 49 others states; just think of the cost and bureaucracy that would be involved.
Connecticut newspapers, business leaders, employers and farmers agree that forced labeling would be bad for our state:
“And it makes little sense for Connecticut to go it alone when it comes to food labeling. If such a law is necessary — which is doubtful — make it a federal one.” – Hartford Courant
“Capitalizing on the scientific evidence, and voluntary labeling, would seem the more appropriate course of action.” – Norwich Bulletin, April 5, 2013
“It undermines the foundation, the hospitable environment, for biotech we’ve worked so hard to build in Connecticut” – Paul R. Pescatello, President/CEO Connecticut United for Research Excellence
“Forced labeling is bad for consumers and bad for businesses in Connecticut.” Stan Sorkin, President Connecticut Food Association
“We are concerned that food labeling that is specific to Connecticut will put our farmers at a competitive disadvantage and may make it difficult to sell our products out of state without entirely different packaging and labeling… we feel that the provisions of HB 6519 would be complex and costly for many farmers to comply with and frankly unnecessary.” –Henry N. Talmage, Executive Director, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association
Why create a costly labeling scheme when consumer choice exists in the marketplace?
Consumers right to know non-GMO foods is ensured through voluntary labeling (Organic, non-GMO)
- Voluntary labeling is in the marketplace and works
- Imposing a Connecticut-only, mandatory food labeling scheme on farmers, food manufacturers and grocers only adds cost to consumers’ food bill – those consumers most vulnerable to increased food costs.
- Consumers wishing to avoid foods produced from genetically engineered crops have choice in the marketplace today. They can choose USDA-certified Organic.
- Genetically engineered crops are an excluded method of production under Organic rules.
- The Organic voluntary marketing program has oversight by the US Department of Agriculture and is standardized for all US food producers in all 50 states.
Want even more information?
Follow these links to learn more about the science, safety, and benefits of genetically engineered products:
Food from Genetically Engineered Plants