New York GM food labeling bill fails

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The New York Assembly rejected a bill this week that would have required genetically modified foods to be labeled in New York.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) was the bill’s lead sponsor and expressed disappointment at the bill’s failure to pass. She went on to say that she vowed to find another way to bring the measure to a vote before the state legislature went into recess June 20.

Lauren Schuster, Rosenthal’s chief of staff, reported that some of the bill’s 41 sponsors had changed their support for the bill.

“Clearly there is still work to be done, but I am confident that this bill will pass, and am fortified for the fight that lies ahead,” Rosenthal said. “The people deserve to know what they are putting into their bodies, and this setback only strengthens my resolve to see this bill become law.”

New York is one of many states whose legislatures are considering individual bills that would require GM foods to be labeled. Other states recently working through measures include Connecticut, Vermont and Hawaii. The bills in Connecticut and Vermont would have required a certain number of other states to also pass similar legislation before it went into effect in each state. The earliest any measure might take effect would be 2015.

A vote in November 2012 in California, Prop 37, gained widespread national attention for its effort to push for GM labeled food. Prop 37 failed to pass and the anti-GM crowd blamed agricultural and food manufacturing companies for turning the vote by outspending them.

Since the vote failed in California, various states have attempted to enact their own state legislation to eventually force all states to label food containing genetically modified ingredients. At this time, no state has approved or enacted a GM food labeling bill.

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