Ben & Jerry’s Co-founder joins CT lawmakers to scoop out GMO labeling legislation

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — You can learn a lot from food labels. Nutrition facts, ingredients, and now some Connecticut lawmakers want you to be able to know if there are Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs in products geared toward children.

Allyson Agelini who runs the Full Heart Farm in Ledyard is able to make sure her son and daughter mostly eat farm fresh food. No GMOs there.

“I think it’s great that people are talking about it and learning about it,” says Agelini.

Representative Diana Urban is certainly talking about it and has introduced a bill which would require children’s food containing GMOs to be labeled.

“What is the problem with labeling genetically modified organisms so that parents can make an informed decision about what risks they are willing to take with their newborn babies,” says Rep. Urban of North Stonington.

Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream co-founder Jerry Greenfield scooped ice cream at the statehouse and served up support for the law similar to one which goes into effect in his home state of Vermont in July.

“I can’t understand why food companies wouldn’t want to tell their customers what is in the food that they are selling them,” says Greenfield.

Still some say this bill is not needed and is misleading because the USDA controls labeling for beef and poultry products and states can’t interfere.

“If you’ve got vegetable soup that will be labeled for GMOs. But if you have vegetable soup with beef that will not and those products are literally right next to each other and both may contain GMOs,” says Gene Harrington who is with the Biotechnology Innovation Organization.

Allyson Agelini is not opposed to GMOs in moderation.

“We make all as much homemade stuff as we can, but you know when we’re out an about snack food is convenient,” says Agelini.

In 2013, Connecticut did pass GMO labeling legislation which didn’t specify children’s food. But those rules are contingent on at least four other states passing similar laws.

The bill also requires that any combination of Northeast states where at least 20 million people reside must adopt similar laws for Connecticut’s rules to take effect.

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