Blumenthal: Congress should follow Connecticut, require labels on GMO food

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"All consumers nationwide deserve to have clear, consistent, and accurate facts about the food they purchase. I hope our state can yet again serve as a model for common sense bipartisan action, and that Connecticut’s law will act as a catalyst for strong federal action,” he said in a statement.

Blumenthal is a co-sponsor of the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act, which Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced in April. That bill would require the Food and Drug Administration to stick labels on food containing ingredients that have been genetically engineered.

Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate. Thirty other legislators from both parties have signed on to co-sponsor the bills.

Labeling of genetically modified food has gained steam in recent weeks, as legislative efforts in states and Congress have picked up new momentum. 

The Connecticut bill contains an important caveat, however: at least four other states, including one of its neighbors, and Northeast states with a total population of 20 million people must enact a similar law before it goes into effect.

Concern about genetically modified food and crops have grown with the recent discovery of genetically modified wheat in Oregon.

On Thursday, Pacific Northwest farmers and the Center for Food Safety filed a class action lawsuit against Monsanto, the creator of the engineered crops. The groups say that Monsanto, which creates weedkiller resistant "Roundup ready" crops, have hurt the wheat export market by triggering concerns in Japan, South Korea and the European Union.