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GMO Labeling At Risk in Connecticut

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on May 29, 2013 - 11:03am

Tell Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey that Connecticut supports GMO labeling!"

Join us - Make GMO labeling the law in Connecticut!

Help us make history with the first in the nation labeling bill - we need you today!

If you believe you have a right to know what's in your food and that genetically engineered foods should be labeled, just as they are in 64 other countries around the world, then we need your help today!

Right now 2 men in Connecticut are standing between you and GMO labeling poised to pass in Connecticut. Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey and Governor Dannel Malloy have submitted a deeply flawed bill with a trigger clause that is meant as a roadblock.

Last week, we watched in amazement as the Connecticut Senate heroically passed a strong GMO labeling bill by a vote of 35 to 1. Rather than passing the same version of that bill, the House was forced into a devious compromise by Governor Malloy's office and Speaker Sharkey who gutted a bill that would label GMO baby food in an effort to kill the Senate bill and make it look like on paper that they supported GMO labeling.

Sharkey and Malloy intentionally added an amendment that is so broad and twisted in its logic that it would make enforcement of GMO labeling nearly impossible.

This is outrageous and we cannot afford to be silent! We need to let Connecticut know that as a movement we stand behind them - United We Stand, Divided We Fall!

Tell Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey how disappointed you are and that you want Connecticut to lead the way on GMO labeling! Every voice counts!

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/gmo_labeling_in_CT_under_assault/

The story of how the deal was struck is a classic tale of cowardice and compromise in the face of special interest pressure from Monsanto and other biotech giants who believe their right to corporate profits is greater that your democratic rights.

According to advocates at GMO Free CT, who have been working hard on the ground to pass GMO labeling for over 2 years, a backroom deal was brokered at midnight between Governor Malloy's office and Speaker Sharkey that gutted the bill.

A letter from GMO Free CT to their supporters tells the story of how Connecticut House members had worked through the night for 3 days in a row and were forced to stay on the House floor, while "the amendment was being drafted behind closed doors". And after 4 hours of intense negotiations with the Governor's office, all communications were cut and hours later a toothless amendment was added to the bill, which House members did not have time to read. This is classic behind the scenes shenanigans of Monsanto and the biotech industry that we have all watched for years, and most recently with the passage of the Monsanto Protection Act.

According GMO Free CT, Sharkey and Malloy's Amendment to the House bill:

"(1) will excuse many US farmers (those who gross under 1.5 million dollars per year for a single crop). When these crops are sold to manufacturers, who put the crops into their corn chips, crackers, ice cream, and breads, labeling of those products would not be required.  That means an unlabeled bag of tortilla chips may still have GMOs in it, if the corn came from a farmer who grosses less than 1.5 million dollars.  As a consumer, how are you ever supposed to know that?  Why even bother having a food labeling law if you still have no clue what is in the food?   This exemption undermines the entire intent of the bill - food transparency, and because of this exemption, the bill would most likely be overturned in a court because of being too vague"

"(2)  The trigger clause placed in this bill is not a reasonable trigger connected with any reasonable rationale.  The law will only take effect if the following conditions are all met:  Five additional states AND an aggregate population of more than 25 million people, AND two of those states will have to be touching CT (NY, MA, RI) OR New York  AND New Jersey.  These conditions were not meant to be a meaningful trigger clause, but a roadblock and they know it.  If VT, ME, RI, MA and WA pass a GMO labeling law, the bill would still not trigger.  And, if NY passes a law, shouldn’t our law automatically trigger regardless of how many other states have passed a law? But it won’t, until four other states pass a law.  Why should 25 million residents of other states get the right to know what’s in their food before a single Connecticut resident is granted such a right?"

This is outrageous and cannot stand! We need to let Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey know that we will not stop fighting until we have the right to know what's in our food. We will not be defeated

Today we’re asking that you help us send a strong message to Governor Malloy and Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey, that they did not silence us by passing a deeply flawed bill with a trigger clause that is meant as a roadblock. 

Click here to send a letter to Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey to tell them how disappointed you are and that you want Connecticut to lead the way on GMO labeling!

http://action.fooddemocracynow.org/sign/gmo_labeling_in_CT_under_assault/

Today, we are calling upon you to let your voice be heard louder than ever before.  There is still hope, there are 6 days left of the legislative session. We will fight to the end.

After signing the petition to Speaker Sharkey and Governor Malloy, please call, write, tweet, and Facebook Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey.  Please be respectful and polite in your communications, but do not be afraid to be firm. 

Governor Malloy

Call Governor Malloy today at (860) 566-4840 and state the following:

“Your amendments to the GMO labeling bill are unacceptable.  We ask that you please act to protect the interests of the citizens of CT, who elected you to office, rather than the outside influence of corporations who want to keep us in the dark about what we are eating.  We hope that when a legitimate GMO labeling bill lands on your desk, you will do the right thing and sign it into law.”

E-mail Governor Malloy: Click HERE.

Facebook Governor Malloy: Click HERE.

Tweet Governor Malloy:

@GovMalloyOffice The amendments to the GMO Labeling bill are unacceptable. Give #CT citizens a transparent #RighttoKnow #LabelGMOs

@GovMalloyOffice The GMO labeling bill the House passed is toothless. Give #CT citizens transparency in labels, not roadblocks. #LabelGMOs

Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey

Call Speaker Sharkey today at 860-240-8500 and state the following: “The amendments to the GMO labeling bill provided to you by Governor Malloy are unacceptable.   You are not listening to your constituents.  The citizens of Connecticut want GMO labeling that will give us transparency, choice, and our right to know.”

E-mail Brendan Sharkey: Brendan.sharkey@cga.ct.gov.

Facebook Brendan Sharkey: https://www.facebook.com/Sharkey.Brendan?ref=ts&fref=ts

Tweet Brendan Sharkey:

@SharkBits88 There's no bite to the GMO labeling bill you passed. #LabelGMOs #RighttoKnowGMO

@SharkBits88 The amendments to the GMO Labeling bill are unacceptable. Give #CT citizens a transparent #RighttoKnow #LabelGMOs

Currently 37 states are working to pass GMO labeling legislation in 2013. Connecticut is one of those states and with your help, we can make history.

Remember, democracy is like a muscle... either use or lose it!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team

At Food Democracy Now!, we're working with activists on the ground in Connecticut to pass a solid bill on GMO labeling to protect your future. Please join the grassroots movement in CT to demand your right to know what is in your food!

Sources:

1."The Truth Behind Malloy and Sharkey’s Amendments", GMO Freet CT.

http://gmofreect.org/the-truth-behind-malloy-and-sharkeys-amendments/

2. To read the entire bill as amended CLICK HERE http://www.cga.ct.gov/2013/amd/H/2013HB-06527-R00HA-AMD.htm.

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