IMG_5981The voices of Rhode Island residents were heard loud and clear in the Statehouse as mothers, fathers, farmers, chefs, consumers and business owners stood together to call upon the Rhode Island legislature to pass a GMO Labeling Law. Organic and non GMO food filled the Statehouse, all generously donated by: Ben & Jerrys, Ocean House, Nature’s Path, Justin’s, Tio Gazpacho, Clarke’s Cook House, Blue Marble Brands, Leah’s Cookies and Harmony Farms. This was the perfect opportunity for legislators to speak with their constituents about our right to know in a relaxed, enjoyable setting. We are grateful to all the food vendors for not only donating the food, but for supporting our right to know what we eating.

Just before the House went into session, our lead sponsors, Representative Dennis IMG_5988Canario, Raymond Hull and Anastasia Williams, all spoke about why they believe so strongly in GMO labeling. They are listening to their constituents and understand that we deserve to know what is in our food so we can make our own choices about the food we are feeding ourselves and our families.

I was honored to be recognized on the floor of the House by Representative Dennis Canario as a representative of all of you – the citizens of Rhode Island fighting for our right to know. Many of the elected officials gave you all a standing ovation for our work in Rhode Island. At the “rise of the House” we all moved on to the hearing where there was standing room only.

IMG_6012Laura Flynn of United Natural Foods (UNFI), Rhode Island’s fourth largest employer spoke of widespread support, “Our customers want to know what is in their food and how it is produced. We are working to ensure that our consumers in every state know whether their food is genetically engineered or contains GMO ingredients. Polls show 93% of Americans support labeling of GE food.”

Other notable testimonies came from Chris Miller of Ben & Jerry’s who IMG_6002stated immediately that labeling will not increase costs to consumers or to companies, and Dr. Michael Hansen from Consumer’s Union who debunked the opposition claims that GMOs are not different than their conventional counterparts.

As I listened to each person testify, I was filled with pride and felt the power of our solidarity. We are unstoppable. We simply need to continue using our voices. Please take action today by contacting your state legislators and ask them to support H 7274. Thank you for your continued support and passion.

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About the Author
Tara Cook-Littman