A number of states and organizations are in the midst of attempts to require labeling of products with genetically modified organisms (GMOs) inside. Here’s a rundown of recent efforts:
On June 3, 2013, Connecticut passed the first GMO labeling law in the country. There are some hoops to jump through first, including a requirement that the surrounding states. Read more at http://gmofreect.org
In June 2013, the Maine legislature approved a labeling bill but the governor has yet to sign it. It has similar requirements to the Connecticut law in that surrounding states must also pass a labeling law for it to go into effect. http://www.mpbn.net/Home/tabid/36/ctl/ViewItem/mid/3478/ItemId/28873/Default.aspx
A bill—not Maryland’s first—was presented in February 2013 that would have required labeling as of Oct. 1, 2013. It since stalled. Read the text at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2013RS/bills/hb/hb0903f.pdf or visit www.righttoknow-gmo.org/states/Maryland
The Minnesota House is considering H.F.850, which would require disclosure of genetically engineered food and seed. The Senate has referred its version (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/text.php?number=SF821&version=0&session=ls88&session_year=2013&session_number=0) to committee.
The legislature is considering House Bill 660-FN, which would require labeling of genetically engineered food and commodities. Read the text here and see what some of the pro-labeling groups are saying at http://coopcommunity.blogspot.com/2013/02/label-gmos-in-nh.html and http://nhrighttoknowgmos.org/handouts/poster1.pdf
The New Jersey Assembly is considering a bill that would require conspicuous labels on all genetically modified foods sold in the state. http://gmofreenj.com/take-action/
A House bill on labeling was voted down; a Senate version is still in committee. Read what GMO-Free New York has to say at www.gmofreeny.org
The Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee of the state Senate is considering SB653. Visit GMO-Free PA at https://www.facebook.com/GmoFreePa
The Vermont House has passed a labeling bill; the Senate has referred its version to its agriculture committee. Read the bill as passed by the Vermont House at www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/bills/House/H-112.pdf and find a petition supporting labeling efforts at www.vpirg.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/GE-sign-on-statement.pdf
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was petitioned in 2011 on GMO labeling by the Center for Food Safety, which demanded that FDA require labeling of genetically engineered foods.
According to Just Label It, the petition also calls for the FDA to change the way it defines a material change in food to a change at the “atomic, molecular, or genetic level that a significant share of consumers would find relevant to their purchasing decisions; and/or issue new regulations requiring labeling of all transgenic food because it always results in novel DNA and proteins never before present in the foods, and which consumers would not expect.”
The petition has garnered more than 1.2 million signatures. To add yours or read more, visit http://justlabelit.org/take-action