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Maine Becomes 2nd State to Require GMO Labels: MOFGA Hails Maine's Adoption of GMO Labeling Law

Submitted by Food Democracy Now on January 10, 2014 - 5:13pm

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association will celebrate Maine's adoption of a law that provides for labeling of genetically engineered food.

Governor Paul LePage has signed LD 718 — An Act To Protect Maine Food Consumers' Right To Know about Genetically Engineered Food, MOFGA announced.

MOFGA will celebrate Maine's adoption of the GMO labeling bill on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at 1:30 p.m. in the Hall of Flags at the State Capitol. All are welcome to participate.

The news came soon after MOFGA delivered to the governor hundreds of postcards encouraging the prompt signing of the bill requiring labeling of foods produced from genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which passed both chambers of the Legislature last year with overwhelming bipartisan support. Time ran out in the legislative session of 2013, but LePage pledged to sign the bill upon reconvening in January, MOFGA noted.

"We are thrilled that Governor LePage has signed the GMO labeling bill," said MOFGA Executive Director Ted Quaday. "MOFGA supporters have worked tirelessly, organizing five different legislative campaigns on this issue since the early 1990s. The time was right for a diverse and collaborative effort to take hold and move the discussion forward. People want and have the right to know what's in their food."

With the governor's signature, Maine becomes the second state in the country to adopt labeling requirements for foods derived from genetically modified crops and animals, MOFGA reported. Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed the nation's first comprehensive GMO food labeling law on June 25. Connecticut and Maine's legislation both require four neighboring states to pass similar legislation before the laws take effect. LePage asserted that it was in Maine's best interests to let Connecticut go first, MOFGA explained.

Right to Know legislative campaigns are active in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts. MOFGA is working with its sister organization, the Northeast Organic Farming Association — New Hampshire, to pass parallel legislation in the Granite State, a requirement for Maine's law to go into effect, MOFGA noted.

Originally published: The Portland Daily Sun.

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