Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Rep. Richard Roy supports labeling of GMO products
By Richard Roy
House Democrats of Connecticut
March 16, 2011
State Representative Richard Roy (D-Milford) has voiced his support for placing labels on products that contain Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). The labels would be similar to “country of origin” labels on food and allow Connecticut residents the ability to choose whether or not to purchase GMO items.
“This would not be a ban on GMO products,” said Rep. Roy, House Chairman of the Environment Committee. “It would be better educating consumers as to what they were eating by means of simple labeling.”
Rep. Roy is considering drafting an amendment to attach to another bill to try and separate GMOs from being classified as “organic” and require labels on food stuffs that have been genetically modified.
“In some cases, pesticides are inserted into seeds, genetically modifying the food we eat,” said Rep. Roy. “You can’t wash out these pesticides, they’re there forever.”
GMOs are products that have been genetically modified at the cellular level to increase yields and resist disease. DNA molecules from different sources are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified genes. Long term effects of GMOs on consumers have not been determined. GMOs are banned in five countries in the European Union, most recently Germany, due to the “threat to the environment.”
“Labeling of modified products is not new nor is it negative,” said Catherine Iaccarino, a concerned citizen who testified before the Environment Committee. “Labeling of milk that has been modified, for example, informs us if it is 2%, skim or lactose free. This is a simple request that Genetically Modified Organisms carry the label for which they are named GMO. It is a request to exercise our right of freedom of choice.”
Rep. Roy hopes passage of an amended bill will allow Connecticut to become a national model for GMO labeling.