Mass State GMO Labeling Legislation

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MA GMO labeling bill status:

In total, 155 out of 200 Massachusetts legislators, ­including 126 from the House of Representatives and 29 from the Senate have signed on as co-sponsors to (or endorsed) the Massacchuetts GMO labeling bill in 2015. We are extremely lucky to have so many incredible legislators supporting this effort here in Massachusetts. The level of support from both the House and Senate, as well as from residents from across the state speaks to the momentum behind passing a GMO labeling bill this session.

What’s next for the Mass. GMO labeling bill?

You can read the full text of the bill, here.

Click here for a 2 page fact-sheet summary of the legislation.

UPDATE: On April 5th the Mass. GMO labeling bill (new number: H.4156) was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee after being unanimously passed from the Environment/Agriculture Committee. It’s now one BIG step closer to passage and we are all closer to regaining our right to know what we’re eating.

With Monsanto trying to bully Vermont and stop them from labeling GMOs this summer, NOW is the time to stand with them. The bill which was released has some good and bad in it and we need your help to ensure passage of the strongest possible version.

The good news is that the bill requires mandatory GMO food labeling on most packaged goods.

The bad news is that the bill, as currently written, would make it practically impossible to implement any time soon…. The Environment/Agriculture committee added a “trigger clause,” a provision that would delay implementation until certain criteria are met. If Vermont can implement their GMO labeling law with no trigger, so can Mass!

Next stop: The House Ways & Means Committee. This should be the LAST stop before it goes to the floor for a full vote. But if Monsanto and friends have it their way, it might never leave this committee! We must stay active and keep it on the top of the agenda. With undeniable support inside and outside the State House, by staying vigilant and vocal we can pass a GMO labeling law that will give MA citizens the transparency in food we deserve.  The session ends in July, so the time to act is now.

Please contact your legislators: http://marighttoknow.org/contactlegislators

There will be no shortage of possible roadblocks and attempts by special interests to influence our local democratic process before the end of the session in July 2016. We need as much help as we can get in guiding the bill through the maze among 7000 other bills. We need our legislative supporter to become heartfelt champions, and we’ll need your help to do that.

 

How does an idea become a law in Massachusetts? Click here to learn.

About the bill, H.4156 (formerly H.3242)

You can read the full text of the bill, here.

Click here for a 2 page fact-sheet summary of the legislation.

We have bipartisan support in both the house and senate and we’re getting everyone behind one bill. Representative Ellen Story (D-Amherst), Representative Todd Smola (R-Palmer), Senator Joan Lovely (D-Salem) and Senator Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester) have stepped up as the chief sponsors of the new GMO labeling bill, H.3242. This bill is essentially a refile of the bill that was advanced out of the Joint Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture during the 2013-14 session.

Click here for a full list of legislators who have endorsed GMO labeling.

*More about the trigger clause: The so called trigger – the point at which this law would go into effect – requires the following criteria to be met before the bill can go into effect: Five other states in the northeast must have passed GMO labeling bills, including one bordering state, with a minimum of 20 million people in those five states. These states include CT, ME, VT, NH, MA, RI, NY. This means that no matter what, we’d have to wait for NY (population 19M) to pass a GMO labeling bill before ours goes into effect (the other states only have 8M among them). When states first considered including a trigger clause in GMO labeling bills, many states did not want to be the first to implement the law and take on the industry’s legal challenges by themselves. Now that Vermont’s law has withstood challenges and is going into effect on July 1, 2016, there is no need for a trigger.