Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Conn. Bill Looks to Add Labels to Engineered Food

www.online.wsj.com - February 22nd, 2012
HARTFORD, Conn. — Consumers at Connecticut grocery stores would be able to know if genetically engineered foods are in the merchandise mix under a bill state lawmakers are considering to require the labeling of such foods.

Neither the federal government nor any state currently has a labeling requirement that applies to all genetically modified foods. Connecticut is among nearly 20 states considering a labeling mandate amid health concerns that supporters of the legislation have raised about such foods.

Connecticut's legislation would require clear labeling on any food sold in the state that is completely or partially produced with genetic engineering.

Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, said he introduced the legislation due to public concern over the issue. Roy co-chairs the state Environment Committee, which heard from supporters and opponents of the bill at a hearing Wednesday.

Roy said his bill has gained bipartisan support, and he expects the committee to pass it, although its fate after is unclear."We're not taking a stance on whether GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are good or bad," said Roy. "What we're saying is that we have a right to know what we're putting in our bodies."Proponents of the legislation say that genetically engineered foods pose allergy and other health risks and that the labels will increase safety for consumers.

Analiese Paik, who runs the Fairfield Green Food Guide website and testified in favor of the labels, said that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to produce a scientific study on whether or not genetically modified foods are safe.

Paik pointed to a recent Canadian study that found toxins from genetically engineered corn circulating in the bloodstream of women.

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