More good news for the anti-GMO community, and bad news for Monsanto: Connecticut and Maine have passed bills requiring GMO labeling laws, won by huge majority votes.
In Connecticut, the bill passed unanimously through the Senate, and won in the House by a majority of 134-3. This victory makes Connecticut the first state to pass such a law, and its success has had a significant impact on other states.
In Maine, the GMO labeling bill passed through the House with a majority vote of 141-4 this past Wednesday.
In order for GMO labeling laws to take effect in both Connecticut and Maine, other states have to pass similar laws. Connecticut’s bill requires four other states to pass a similar law, and Maine’s bill requires five other states.
While this may seem like a drawback, it has actually given other states motivation to follow in these two states’ footsteps, and has brought the states together to fight for a common cause.
Vermont currently has a GMO labeling bill ready to be passed through the House this coming January. Similar bills are also currently working their way up through the ratification process in Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Arizona, Iowa and Illinois.
Monsanto has been threatening these states with lawsuits for years, stalling the process significantly. In Vermont, this legislation has been on hold for three years because of threats of legal repercussions from the biotech giant.
In the words of Vermont farmer and Organic Consumers Association Executive Director Ronnie Cummins, “Monsanto has used lawsuits or threats of lawsuits for 20 years to force unlabeled genetically engineered foods on the public, and to intimidate farmers into buying their genetically engineered seeds and hormones.”
Despite the threats, states are taking matters into their own hands against unlabeled GMOs. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy has promised to sign the Connecticut GMO labeling bill, despite the backlash from Monsanto. It is truly encouraging to see states passing these bills, one by one, despite the national ‘Monsanto Protection Act,’ and despite bullying by GMO corporations.
While there is still a long way to go, the path that has been paved by Connecticut and Maine, and the steps taken by the other states on board with the effort, is absolutely crucial.
-The Alternative Daily