MA Legislation

We’ve set up this page to help you learn about the GMO labeling bills, who’s sponsoring them and what committees are considering them.  

Bill Status: On March 17th, 2014, just 2 days before the deadline, the Environment committee decided that the GMO labeling bill “ought to pass” and voted it favorably out of committee. They redrafted/combined two bills, H.808 and H.813 (below) and gave it a new number: H.3996

On March 27th, H.3996 was referred to the Health Care Financing Committee. They now have until April 30th to make a recommendation on the bill.

If/when we get the bill out of committee, we will then have until July 31st to get it passed by the full legislature. With 8 new GMO crops coming out this year and the chemical manufacturers working to make GMO labeling illegal, we can’t affod to wait until next legislative session to pass this!

Please see our action page for ways to help!

 

H.3996 “An Act to protect Massachusetts food consumers’ right to know about Genetically Engineered Food.” (name change pending)

Sponsored by: Representative Anne Gobi (D-Spencer) on 3/27/2014

“The committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture to
whom were referred the petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 808) of
Todd M. Smola relative to the labeling of genetically engineered food and
the petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 813) of Ellen Story and
others relative to the labeling of plant seeds, reports recommending that
the accompanying bill (House, No. 3996) ought to pass.”

As it is currently drafted, the bill is largely a reflection of the law that passed in Connecticut. It would require the words “Produced with genetic engineering” to be printed “clear and conspicuous” on the package. The bill currently contains a trigger clause similar to Connecticut.

Full text of the bill: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H3996
Status:  3/27/2014 - Reported favorably by committee and referred to the committee on Health Care Financing. They now have until April 30th to make a recommendation on the bill.

 

Click here to see which legislators have endorsed mandatory GMO labeling in Massachusetts.

When legislators introduce a bill, it is assigned to a “Joint Committee” which are set up for various topics. Our five bills were sent to two different committees.

(Click the bill number/name for more details)

The following bills have been referred to the Joint Committee on Public Health:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food” also referred to as “The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act” Introduced by: Ellen Story (D-Amherst)

H.2037, “An Act to establish guidelines for genetically engineered food” Introduced by: Michael Moran (D-Brighton)

H.1936, “An Act relative to genetically engineered food” Introduced by: Stephen DiNatale (D-Fitchburg)

 

The following bills have been referred to the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture:

H.808 “An act relative to the labeling of genetically engineered foods” 

Introduced by:  Todd Smola (R-Palmer)

H.813, “An Act relative to the labeling of seed” Introduced by Ellen Story (D-Amherst)

 

 

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H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food” also referred to as “The Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act”

Introduced by: Ellen Story (D-Amherst) on 1/7/2013
(This is a reintroduction of the 2011 bill, H.630 from the 2011-12 session)

“By Ms. Story of Amherst, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2093) of Ellen Story and others relative to the definition of genetically engineered material in the labeling of food.  Public Health.”

As it is currently drafted, this bill would require the words “Genetically engineered” to be printed in at least size 16 pt font, “upon each package or receptacle holding any proprietary or patent food preparation containing genetically engineered material… Also upon each package, appearing in type not smaller than eight point (brevier) capitals:- ‘This product contains a genetically engineered material, or was produced with a genetically engineered material.”

Full text of the bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2093
Status:  1/22/2013 – Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health

Sponsor(s):

Ellen Story, MA State Rep (D-Amherst) 3rd Hampshire
Denise Provost, MA State Rep (D-Somerville)  27th Middlesex
Mary S. Keefe, MA State Rep (D-Worcester)  15th Worcester
William N. Brownsberger, MA State Senator (D-Belmont) Second Suffolk and Middlesex
John W. Scibak , MA State Rep (D-South Hadley) 2nd Hampshire
Tricia Farley-Bouvier, MA State Rep (D-Pittsfield) 3rd Berkshire
Timothy R. Madden, MA State Rep (D-Nantucket) Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket
Paul W. Mark, MA State Rep (D-Peru) 2nd Berkshire
Peter V. Kocot, MA State Rep (D-Northampton) 1st Hampshire
Tom Sannicandro, MA State Reap (D-Ashland) 7th Middlesex

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H.808 “An act relative to the labeling of genetically engineered foods”

Introduced by:  Todd Smola (R-Palmer) on 1/17/2013
(This is a reintroduction of the 2011 bill H.3276)

“By Mr. Smola of Palmer, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 808) of Todd M. Smola relative to the labeling of genetically engineered food.  Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture.”

As it is currently drafted, this bill would require the words “genetically engineered  to be “plainly visible” on the labeling for an array of food product categories, with a tolerance of 1 tenth of 1%.

Full text of the bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H808
Status:  3/27/2014 - Accompanied a new draft, see H3996

Sponsor(s):

Todd Smola, MA State Rep (R- Palmer) 1st Hampden

.H.2037, “An Act to establish guidelines for genetically engineered food”

Introduced by: Michael Moran (D-Brighton) on 1/17/2013

“By Mr. Moran of Boston, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2037) of Michael J. Moran for legislation to establish guidelines within the Department of Public Health for genetically engineered food. Public Health.”

This bill is based on the text of California’s 2012 ballot initiative prop 37, which failed by a slight margin.  It would require the “clear and conspicuous words ‘Genetically Engineered’ on the front of the package” of any genetically modified raw agricultural produce, and “In the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package of such food, with the words ‘Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering’ or ‘May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”  The bill also includes language forbidding such products from being advertised as “Natural.”   It also includes a list of exclusions.  

Full text of the bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2037
Status: 1/22/13 Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health

Sponsor(s):

Michael Moran,  MA State House Second Division Chair (D-Brighton) 18th Suffolk

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H.1936, “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Introduced by:
Stephen DiNatale (D-Fitchburg) on 1/16/2013

“By Mr. DiNatale of Fitchburg, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1936) of Stephen L. DiNatale and others relative to genetically engineered food. Public Health. “

As it is currently drafted, and similar to the current language of H2037, this bill would require the “clear and conspicuous words ‘Genetically Engineered’ on the front of the package” of any genetically modified raw agricultural produce, and “In the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package of such food, with the words ‘Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering’ or ‘May be Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering.”  The bill also includes language forbidding such products from being advertised as “Natural.”   It also includes a list of exclusions.  

Full text of the bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H1936
Status: 1/22/2013 – Referred to Joint Committee on Public Health

Sponsor(s):

Stephen DiNatale, MA State Rep (D-Fitchburg) 3rd Worcester
Jason M. Lewis, MA State Rep (D Winchester) 31st Middlesex
Frank I. Smizik, MA State Rep (D-Brookline)  15th Norfolk
William Smitty Pignatelli, MA State Rep (D-Lenox) 4th Berkshire
Denise Provost, MA State Rep (D-Somerville) 27th Middlesex
John W. Scibak, MA State Rep (D-South Hadley) 2nd Hampshire
Kate Hogan, MA State Rep (D-Stow)  3rd Middlesex
Denise Andrews, MA State Rep (D-Orange)     2nd Franklin
Carolyn C. Dykema, MA State Rep (D-Holliston) 8th Middlesex
Bruce E. Tarr, MA State Senate Minority Leader (R Gloucester) 1st Essex and Middlesex

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H.813, “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Introduced by Ellen Story (D-Amherst) on 1/7/2013
(This is a reintroduction of the 2011 bill, H.261.)

“By Ms. Story of Amherst, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 813) of Ellen Story and others relative to the labeling of plant seeds. Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “

As it is currently drafted, this bill would require that “[e]ach container of genetically engineered seed distributed, offered for sale or exposed for sale within the commonwealth shall bear the identity of such seed, relevant traits or characteristics of the seed that cause it to be defined as genetically engineered, plus any legal requirements or recommended precautions for their safe handling, storage, transport, and use, the contact point for further information and, as appropriate, the name and address of the manufacturer, distributor, or supplier of such seed.”

Full text of the bill: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H813
Status:  3/27/2014 - Accompanied a new draft, see H3996

Sponsor(s):

Ellen Story, MA State Rep (D-Amherst) 3rd Hampshire
Denise Provost, MA State Rep (D-Somerville) 27th Middlesex
Mary S. Keefe, MA State Rep (D-Worcester)  15th Worcester
William N. Brownsberger, MA State Senator (D-Belmont) Second Suffolk and Middlesex
John W. Scibak, MA State Rep (D-South Hadley) 2nd Hampshire
Tricia Farley-Bouvier, MA State Rep (D-Pittsfield) 3rd Berkshire
Timothy R. Madden, MA State Rep (D-Nantucket) Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

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Primary Sponsors

These legislators have submitted legislation related to the labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) to the 2013 Session of the Massachusetts State House


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Todd M. Smola
Representative (R Palmer)
1st Hampden

Introduced

H.808 “An act relative to the labeling of genetically engineered foods”

Contact

State House
Room 156
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2240
Email: Todd.Smola@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/TMS2


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Ellen Story
Fourth Division Chair (D Amherst)
3rd Hampshire

Introduced

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact

State House
Room 277
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2012
Fax: 617-570-6577
Email: Ellen.Story@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/E_S1


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Stephen L. DiNatale
Representative (D Fitchburg)
3rd Worcester

Introduced

H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact

State House
Room 276
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2676
Fax: 617-722-2236
Email: Stephen.DiNatale@mahouse.gov

District Office
Fitchburg Senior Center
14 Wallace Ave, 2nd floor
Fitchburg, MA 01420

Phone: 978- 829-1794

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/SLD1


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Michael J. Moran
Second Division Chair (D Brighton)
18th Suffolk

Introduced

H.2037 “An Act to establish guidelines for genetically engineered food”

Contact
State House
Room 122
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2006
Email: Michael.Moran@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/MJM1

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Co-Sponsors

These legislators have added their names in support of legislation related to the labeling of GMOs

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Denise Provost
Representative (D Somerville)
27th Middlesex

Co-Sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact
State House
Room 473B
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2263
Fax: 617-626-0548
Email: Denise.Provost@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/D_P1

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Mary S. Keefe
Representative (D Worcester)
15th Worcester

Co-sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact

State House
Room 437
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2425
Fax: 617-626-0286
Email: Mary.Keefe@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/MSK1

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William N. Brownsberger
Senator (D Belmont)
Second Suffolk and Middlesex

Co-Sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact

State House
Room 413C
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-1280
Email: William.Brownsberger@masenate.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/WNB0


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John W. Scibak
Representative (D South Hadley)
2nd Hampshire

Co-Sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact

State House
Room 156
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2030
Fax: 617-722-2215
Email: John.Scibak@mahouse.gov

District Office
P.O. Box 136
South Hadley, MA 01075

Phone: 413-539-6566
Fax: 413-539-5855

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/JWS1


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Tricia Farley-Bouvier
Representative (D Pittsfield)
3rd Berkshire

Co-sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact

State House
Room 156
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2240
Email: Tricia.Farley-Bouvier@mahouse.gov

District Office
33 Dunham Mall
Pittsfield, MA 01201

Phone: 413-442-4300

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/TFB1


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Timothy R. Madden
Representative (D Nantucket)
Barnstable, Dukes and Nantucket

Co-sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”
H.813 “An Act relative to the labeling of seed”

Contact

State House
Room 167
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2810
Fax: 617-722-2846
Email: Timothy.Madden@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/TRM1


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Paul W. Mark
Representative (D Peru)
2nd Berkshire

Co-sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”

Contact

State House
Room 472
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2013
Fax: 617-626-0249
Email: Paul.Mark@mahouse.gov

District Office
P.O. Box 114
Dalton, MA 01227

Phone: 413-464-5635

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/PWM1


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Peter V. Kocot
Representative (D Northampton)
1st Hampshire

Co-sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”

Contact

State House
Room 22
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2140
Fax: 617-722-2347
Email: Peter.Kocot@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/PVK1


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Tom Sannicandro
Representative (D Ashland)
7th Middlesex

Co-sponsored:

H.2093 “An Act relative to the labeling of food”

Contact

State House
Room 472
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2013
Fax: 617-722-2239
Email: Tom.Sannicandro@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/T_S1


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Jason M. Lewis
Representative (D Winchester)
31st Middlesex

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact

State House
Room 466
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2017
Fax: 617-722-2849
Email: Jason.Lewis@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/JML1


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Frank I. Smizik
Representative (D Brookline)
15th Norfolk

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact

State House
Room 274
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2676
Email: Frank.Smizik@mahouse.gov ; Frank.Smizik@comcast.net

District Office
42 Russell Street
Brookline, MA 02446

Phone: 617-738-9838

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/FIS1


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William Smitty Pignatelli
Representative (D Lenox)
4th Berkshire

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact
State House
Room 448
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2582
Fax: 617-722-2879
Email: Rep.Smitty@mahouse.gov

District Office
Lenox Town Hall
PO Box 2228
Lenox , MA 01240

Phone: 413-637-0631

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/WSP1


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Kate Hogan
Representative (D Stow)
3rd Middlesex

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact

State House
Room 166
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2692
Email: Kate.Hogan@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/K_H1


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Denise Andrews
Representative (D Orange)
2nd Franklin

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact
State House
Room 443
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2460
Fax: 617-626-0120
Email: Denise.Andrews@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/D_A1


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Carolyn C. Dykema
Representative (D Holliston)
8th Middlesex

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact
State House
Room 473F
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-2210
Fax: 617-722-2239
Email: Carolyn.Dykema@mahouse.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/CCD1


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Bruce E. Tarr
Minority Leader (R Gloucester)
First Essex and Middlesex

Co-sponsored:
H.1936 “An Act relative to genetically engineered food”

Contact
State House
Room 308
Boston, MA 02133

Phone: 617-722-1600
Fax: (617) 722-1310
Email: Bruce.Tarr@masenate.gov

Here are some suggested talking points to help you when contacting them.  Please use the feedback form to let us know how your call goes or what response you get to your email/letter.

Profile page: http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/BET0