REP TONY HWANG HAIL SIGNING OF GMO (Right to Know) LABELING LAW
FAIRFIELD - State Rep. Tony Hwang joined with advocates, parents and legislators from across the state in a celebration of the Governor Malloy's public bill signing of landmark legislation requiring the labeling of genetically-engineered foods and creates best practices for GMO farming.
Tony Hwang, who spearheaded legislative grassroots action, worked closely with GMO Free CT advocates to push this historic legislation through the General Assembly in a bipartisan manner. The ceremonial bill signing took place at the 'Catch a Healthy Habit Cafe' in downtown Fairfield.
Hwang said, "This GMO labeling campaign is the definition of a community collaborative effort. I volunteered to GMO Free CT nearly 2 year ago that I would be one of their voices in Hartford and help in a bipartisan manner to shepherd this bill through the legislative process. I am honored to have helped in the process. I want to thank Tara Cook-Littman, Amanda Wendt and the grassroots advocates for their tireless determination."
Tara Cook-Littman said, "I am ecstatic for our state. I want to thank our leaders at the State Capitol for listening to our voice. Rep. Tony Hwang was instrumental in helping us negotiate the legislative process and encouraged me to passionate believe that our advocacy can succeed despite overwhelming obstacles and challenges -- Tony encouraged me to believe that we as public citizens can make a positive difference and that everyone deserve the right to know what is in the food they eat."
Amanda Wendt shared her perspective, "Part of being an advocate or activist is building relationships with your elected officials. Tony is my representative and has also become a friend in this process. And today when most of the hoopla was over, he gave me my very own signed copy of the bill. I got a little emotional as it was something I never expected could even happen. But that moment summed up for me this entire experience. People make the difference. How we treat each other, how we conduct ourselves, how we voice our opinions respectfully and how we are in turn heard. Working together, we can all make a positive difference."
Hwang reinforced the philosophical perspective beyond the food science debate. "This bill moves forward and reinforces our 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 labels provide that information to consumers and allow the marketplace to decide, not governmental or copyright protection against individual freedom of choice."
The towns of Fairfield and Trumbull became the birthplace of the state-wide GMO Free (http://gmofreect.org/
) movement with grass-root activists and concerned parents who believed proper labeling of food was important for transparency, sustainability, and for the futures of their children. GMO Free CT's Tara Cook-Littman and other GMO Free advocates were in attendance for the ceremonial bill signing.
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.
When asked if they wanted genetically engineered foods to be labeled, about 9 in 10 Americans said that they did, according to a 2010 Thomson Reuters-NPR poll.