State Representative Richard Roy (D-Milford) recently attended a conference concerning Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) at Aiki Farm in Ledyard, CT. At the invite of farm owner Robert Burns, Rep. Roy was joined by State Representatives Diane Urban and Tom Reynolds to discuss a plan to educate the General Assembly and the public on the issue.
Rep. Roy supported placing labels on products in Connecticut that contain GMOs, allowing residents the ability to discern and choose whether or not to purchase GMO items. The legislation did not get enough votes to pass through the committee process this year.
“I look forward to continuing the effort to make this law in Connecticut,” said Rep. Roy, House Chair of the Environment Committee. “The federal government has turned its back on consumers and is more interested in helping the agri-business industry hide what is actually going into our food.”
GMOs are products that have been genetically modified at the cellular level to increase yields and resist disease. DNA molecules from different sources are combined into one molecule to create a new set of genes. This DNA is then transferred into an organism, giving it modified genes. Long term effects of GMOs on consumers have not been determined. GMOs are banned in five countries in the European Union, most recently Germany, due to the “threat to the environment.”
Among the ideas discussed at the conference was the goal of creating a legislative forum in the fall to discuss the issues surrounding the use of GMOs and what options are available to Connecticut as a state.