In 2012 the grassroots movement to label GMOs at the state level began to gain momentum. Advocates from around the United States connected with each other and we formed the “Coalition of States for GMO Labeling.” We knew that we were more powerful united than we were working in a vacuum on our own in our individual states. We understood then how critical it was that the laws being introduced at the state level be uniform so as to avoid the patchwork quilt of laws that would have made compliance for manufacturers difficult. Now, four years later, three states have passed legislation, four ballot initiatives have raised the level of awareness, VT will be implementing their law in July and over thirty states are working to pass legislation similar to what CT, ME and VT passed. In Massachusetts 75% of the legislature has signed on as co-sponsors. The lead sponsor in Rhode Island recently filed his bill with all but one state representative signed on as co-sponsors. CT and ME are working toward removing their trigger clauses which have stopped the laws from implementing and just this week New Hampshire held their public hearing where there was standing room only and testimony lasted all day. Needless to say, our movement continues to gain momentum.

One thing that has remained unchanged since 2012 is our commitment to ensuring that there will be no patchwork quilt of laws.  We will continue to ensure uniformity of the state GMO labeling laws to reduce the burden on food producers.  While we all agree that a federal GMO labeling law would be the best solution, we will not wait for our federal government to act while industry money continues to keep us in the DARK about what we are eating.  In the absence of a strong federal standard, states must act in the interest of their constituents. Our country’s history shows that the states, as ‘laboratories of democracy’ often show our federal government the path by carrying out the will of the people.  Please take action today and ask your state legislators to support GMO labeling and give us the information we need to make our own decisions about what to feed ourselves and our families.

About the Author
Tara Cook-Littman