State Rep. Tony Hwang (134th District - Fairfield & Trumbull) and Jerry Greenfield, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry Ice Cream, joined together to support CT House Bill 6519 legislation at a public hearing in the Public Health Committee at the Connecticut General Assembly. This bill would require the labeling of genetically-engineered foods and to create best practices for GMO farming.
Neither the Federal government, nor any other state in the nation has a labeling requirement that applies to all genetically modified foods. It is currently under consideration in a number of legislative bodies throughout the United States. The measure does not take a position that genetically modified foods are good or bad; the bill is simply about giving information to consumers.
Jerry Greenfield has been a key ally in efforts to win mandatory labeling of GMOs in his home state of Vermont. He also delighted legislators and activists with not only his testimony, but also samples of his famous ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s recently announced that the company had committed to switching to all non-GMO ingredients in its ice cream products by the end of the year, in order to meet the growing demand by consumers.
Greenfield said, “Increasingly, Americans are demanding openness and transparency in our food supply. Ben & Jerry’s is proud to stand with the people of Connecticut by supporting mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.”
Hwang also submitted testimony in the public hearing and emphasized that, “We have a fundamental right to know what is in our food so we can make informed choices about what we feed our families. Consumers may or may not wish to purchase foods that they know to be genetically modified, but they need the information made available to them to make those informed choices. This bill would require that labels provide that information to consumers and allow the marketplace to decide, not governmental or copyright protection against individual freedom of choice. By mandating GMO labeling, this bill would give us the transparency that countries like Japan, Australia, Brazil, China and all 15 European Union Countries already enjoy.”
HB 6519 is currently before the legislature’s Public Health Committee. The public hearing was held on March 15th. You can get more information on the public hearing testimonies and the bill’s status in the General Assembly via http://1.usa.gov/Y76Dkv.
Rep. Tony Hwang in his 3rd term in the Connecticut General Assembly House of Representatives and represents the 134th District, which encompasses portions of Fairfield and Trumbull. Rep. Hwang is the ranking leader in the Government Administration and Elections Committee and a member of Public Safety & Security Committee and the Insurance and Real Estate Committee during the 2013-14 legislative sessions. Rep. Hwang is a member of the CT Innovation Life Sciences Business/Government Group and co-chair of the bipartisan General Assembly Bioscience Caucus.