Congrats Connecticut! First State to Pass GMO Labeling Law

Image: Wikipedia/Maggie Caldwell photo illustration via Mother Jones

But before we rejoice, there is a caveat. Since Connecticut is tiny (3.5 million people), labeling products just for sale in that state would be problematic. So the law will only go into effect when

  • 4 other states adopt similar legislation
  • one of those states borders with Connecticut
  • at least 20 million people will be affected

Reminder: GMO’s stand genetically modified organisms. This highly controversial method of creating corn, soy, and other crops has one side (biotech companies like Monsanto) claiming to be the only way to feed a hungry world, and another side (consumer groups) worried about adverse health effect.

Scientists are still arguing about GMO safety, but in the meantime, wouldn’t it make sense for us to know if a food we buy contains GMO ingredients? In Europe, such labeling is required, but here, the FDA wimped out 20 years ago after extreme pressure was applied by DC lobbies.

Back to Connecticut – what’s remarkable about the labeling law, passed earlier this week, is that it was a bipartisan landslide victory (34-0). Could that have anything to do with the fact that the state is not primarily agricultural? Meaning that no elected official relies on contributions from agri-business?

If you can’t wait until GMOs will be labeled in your state, the free Fooducate app lets you find that out right now :

Fooducate GMO alert in Action

Collage by: Jessica Y

  • Fairfield Easton

    But you fail to mention that no one has ever established any harm from GMOs. In fact nearly all scientists agree they are harmless. If so, why is labeling so important?

    • Fooducate

      There is enough controversy around GMO’s long term safety to warrant disclosure. This, for the benefit of consumers that haven’t been convinced.

      • More About Lasik

        Will the controversy ever end?

    • Tyler

      If you are implying that labeling is not important, why make a fuss about it? Let them go ahead and label it. Why do we label products that contain milk or nuts? Because as a consumer, I have the right to know if the product I spend my money on has allergens or genetically modified items or not, so I can decide what to buy or not. If these big companies have not done anything wrong, then they shouldn’t be worried about anything, correct?
      As for GMOs being harmless, just search the Internet.

  • Dan Ingram

    Maybe the question should be…do you trust the giant chemical company called Monsanto? When I was a kid I paddled down the river where they dumped their waste behind a plant in Massachusetts. My dad had no explanations for the odd colored water and the dead fish. I say full disclosure when it comes to our food is the best policy and then let the people decide!

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  • Vlad

    I was excited to install your app, only to find that it’s not allowed to be installed outside of United States – at least for android. No love for Canada?