Hawaii and Vermont Make Historic GMO Labeling Progress
Hawaii and Vermont are one step closer to becoming the first states in the US to introduce GMO labeling following historic House votes over the past 5 days.
Hawaii House passes GMO labeling bill on to Senate
On Tuesday in Hawaii the state House passed the modified GMO Labeling bill’s final third reading and gave it over to the state’s Senate, with only one House member voting no.
Unmani Cynthia Groves stated on Sustainable Pulse Wednesday that “We the people of Hawaii were HEARD by our state House on the HB 174 GMO Labeling bill. Originally a bill to label all GMO products, this bill morfed into a GMO imports bill – a partial victory for the people getting support through the Hawaii State House to at this point to cross over to the Senate. Noteworthy, testimony was very strong through the House Agriculture Committee, House Consumer Protection Committee, and House Finance Committee.”
“It sends a message definitely to the FDA from our beloved Hawaii nei by the Hawaii state House that represents her people that we want labeling of GE foods, the right to know what GE is in our foods and the right to protect our genetic lineages,” Groves concluded.
The history of the Hawaii bills can be followed here: www.capitol.hawaii.gov – type in HB174 or SB615.
The Hawaii vote came soon after the release of a video showing Monsanto’s Hawaii VP, Fred Perlak, denying Indian farmer suicides.
Vermont House Agri Committee passes GMO labeling bill
On Friday, the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, after weeks of testimony, passed H.112, or the “GMO labeling bill,” by an 8-3 vote. H.112 requires producers to put labels on raw agricultural and processed, packaged food products that are genetically engineered. The bill will go to the House Judiciary Committee for review, then to the floor for a vote.
“It’s a consumer bill,” said Rep. Will Stevens, I-Shoreham, a member of the House Agriculture Committee. “It lets people have information that they wouldn’t otherwise have access to.”
The bill has large legislative support, with 50 members of the House and 11 senators signing on as cosponsors. Nevertheless, versions of a GMO labeling bill were defeated in 2011 and 2012. And the attorney general’s office has signaled its wariness about the bill.
Meanwhile, it was reported in the Huffington post that “Americans are largely uncertain over whether genetically modified foods are safe for the environment or safe to eat, but the vast majority say that foods containing genetically modified ingredients should be labeled, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll.”