More than 200 Connecticut residents gathered today at the State Capital in Hartford to testify on behalf of HB 6519, a bill to require the labeling of genetically modified food sold in the Constitution state. Among these outspoken gatherers were top international scientists, leading national grassroots activists and the co-founder of the famous Vermont ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s, who traveled to Hartford to testify in front of the Public Health Committee in favor of passing a bill to require the labeling of GMOs.
“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,” said Jerry Greenfield, the co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s. Greenfield recently announced that his 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 and Ben & Jerry’s have been key allies in the effort to win mandatory labeling of GMOs in his home state of Vermont.
Traveling from Iowa, where 97 percent of soybeans and 91 percent corn is genetically engineered, Dave Murphy, the founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! was greatly encouraged by the day’s public hearing before the Connecticut legislature.
“The testimony heard today in Connecticut is another sign of the growing movement that is spreading across the United States of concerned mothers and citizens who are dedicated to winning mandatory GMO labeling,” said Murphy. “Polls regularly show that more than 90% of Americans want labeling of genetically engineered foods, so why no labeling of GMOs in the land of the free?”
A 2011 poll found that GMO labeling has broad bipartisan support, with 89% of Republicans, 90% of Independents and 93% of Democrats favor GMO labeling in the U.S.
With several other states working on legislation to make labeling of GMO foods and/or ingredients, here’s hoping that Greenfield’s celebrity will help push things forward.