By Gregory B. Hladky
2:01 PM EDT, June 27, 2013
Connecticut legislative leaders are just pleased as punch that Gov. Dannel Malloy has now signed a bill that appears to require foods with genetically modified organisms to be labeled so consumers know what they're buying.
Except it doesn't require that, thanks to some serious lobbying by outfits like Monsanto (king of GMO agriculture) and the Big Food industry.
In fact, the GMO labeling bill signed by Malloy won't have any meaning at all until at least four other states, that happen to have a total population of 20 million, or more pass similar legislation. And, oh yes, one of those states has to border Connecticut.
When that all might happen - if ever - is anyone's guess. But let's not allow reality to get in the way of any masturbatory legislative self-congratulations.
The press release announcing this triumph of nothing-is-really-happening-here lawmaking begins:
"State Senate and House leaders today celebrated Governor Dannel P. Malloy's signing into law bipartisan legislation which will require all foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be appropriately labeled."
"Connecticut families deserve to have all the information they need to make informed, healthy choices when feeding their families," intoned the Senate Democrats' top leader, Donald E. Williams Jr. of Brooklyn.
"I'm proud that Connecticut is the first state in the nation to pas GMO labeling legislation while protecting consumers from cost increases," House Speaker Brendan Sharkey, D-Hamden, proclaimed.
Of course, in addition to those little conditions about other states having to approve similar legislation before anything could actually kick in for Connecticut consumers, there were a few exceptions built into the bill.
If (whenever the law might actually take effect) you eat something in a Connecticut restaurant, you don't have to be told if it has GMOs. Nor do you have to see any GMO labels for food sold at farmer's markets, roadside stands, or for processed foods that have less than 1 percent GMOs in them.
Keep in mind that all this is totally theoretical at the moment, since our brave Connecticut lawmakers decided to punt the GMO ball to a bunch of other states and let them run with it.
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