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CT Coalition Calls for GMO Food Labels
Supporters of the “Right to Know GMO CT” coalition gathered at the Legislative Office Building this morning to call on the Connecticut General Assembly to stand up for consumers’ right to know whether or not the food they eat and feed their families has been genetically engineered. Over the past year, the coalition has grown dramatically and in the past few weeks alone 109 businesses and organizations have joined the coalition, 180 residents have attended campaign action meetings, and grass roots leaders have scheduled over 20 GMO educational events around the state, for a listing of events, please see www.gmofreect.org.
American consumers are in the dark about whether or not their food is genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GMO). The vast majority of processed food in the U.S. contains GE or GMO ingredients, which are largely untested, unlabeled, and potentially unsafe. One of those most basic steps towards a transparent food system is to label GMO and GE foods.
“We have an opportunity to present our case for labeling so we may empower our Connecticut economy as informed citizen consumers,” bill sponsor State Representative Phil Miller addressed the crowd. He stood alongside several leading members of the coalition including Tara Cook-Littman, leader of GMO Free CT, Bill Duesing, Executive Director of CTNOFA, Executive Chef Chris Eddy of Winvian Restaurant, and Food & Water Watch’s Executive Director Wenonah Hauter.
"We are proud to announce the "Right To Know GMO CT" coalition that is bringing together individuals, organizations, farmers, restaurant owners and national organizations to send a strong message that we will not stop until CT residents have the right to know what is in their food." announced GMO Free CT’s Tara Cook-Littman.
“This really comes down to our right to know. Customers at my five star restaurant demand high quality and right now these companies keep me in the dark about whether the products I buy are even safe. I just want clarity,” says Chris Eddy, Executive chef of Winvian Restaurant in Morris, CT.
“I have seen many clients with food allergies, autoimmune diseases, and digestive problems that weren’t even addressed when I was in school 25 years ago. Something new in our food supply may be contributing to these problems, and in my opinion it is the infiltration of GMOs into our food supply that started 18 years ago.” Stated Beth Beisel, a registered dietician.
“Genetically engineered foods have lead to a major consolidation of agribusiness in our country,” says Bill Duesing, a Connecticut farmer of over 35 years, “which leaves family farmers like myself at the mercy of just a couple giant companies like Monsanto that control the whole food system. Connecticut farmers are being pushed out.”
As Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food & Water Watch explains, "Polling shows that the vast majority of Americans are in favor of labeling GE foods. As a result, citizen groups all over the country are following Connecticut's lead in fighting for the right to know."
The “Right to Know GMO CT” coalition includes over 100 local, state and national organizations
committed to ensuring Connecticut consumers know whether their foods are genetically engineered.