GMO Free NY *** BREAKING NEWS ***

Last night the NY Senate Consumer Protection committee moved the GMO labeling bill (S.485-A) forward to the Rules committee! (The Senate has a rule that allows them to "discharge" bills from committees without having actually voted on them, but the net effect is the same as if the bill had been successfully voted on -- it moves forward to the next committee.) WOOHOO!

Here's the press release from our coalition:

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Contact: CJ Macklin, 646-355-0718, cj.macklin@berlinrosen.com

GMO LABELING BILL CONTINUES TO BUILD MOMENTUM AS IT MOVES ONE STEP CLOSER TO PASSAGE

Bipartisan Bill Successfully Moved out of NYS Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee

Pressure Now on Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie, Senate Leadership to Get Something Done in Final Weeks of Session, Bring Bill to Floor Vote

Albany – The bipartisan GMO labeling bill moved one step closer to passage yesterday when it was moved out of the New York State Senate’s Consumer Protection Committee (S.485-A) by Senator Michael Venditto, chairman of the committee. Through the stewardship and leadership of bill-sponsor Senator Ken Lavalle (R-Port Jefferson), the legislation continues to build momentum, and it now heads directly to the Senate’s Rules Committee. The pressure is now on Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan and NY State Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to act in the final weeks of session and bring this bill to a floor vote.

“We applaud Senator Venditto for talking the lead on moving this bill forward. His support, along with the leadership of Majority Leader Flanagan and Senator LaValle, means New York parents and families are one step closer to knowing what’s on their dinner plates,” said Alex Beauchamp, Northeast Region Director at Food & Water Watch. “Now it’s time for Senate leadership and Speaker Heastie to choose a side. They can either join the millions of New Yorkers and members of their delegation and bring this bill to a floor vote, or they can cave to giant corporations like Monsanto trying to maximize profits.”

The bipartisan state bill – also sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal (D-Manhattan) – is currently before the Assembly’s Codes Committee (A.617-A).

Although agrichemical companies like Monsanto and big food and beverage companies like Kraft and Coca-Cola claim that GMOs are safe to eat, the Food & Drug Administration does not have a safety approval process in place.

"When it's my family's health we're talking about, I can't take a chance on not knowing what I'm feeding them. And the only way I can know for sure if I'm giving them GMO-produced foods is if they are labeled properly," said Margaret Maher, a Long Island mother of two. "I need the leaders in Albany to step-up and look out for my family. I need them to act on GMO labeling legislation now."

Last Monday, the makers of Similac Advance, the top commercial baby formula brand in the U.S., announced it would offer a GMO-free version of its product by the end of the month.

And in March, the World Health Organization reclassified glyphosate – the key ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup – as a probable human carcinogen. The use of Roundup on farmland has skyrocketed since GMO crops were engineered to withstand it, and since then, agricultural use of the herbicide has increased 16-fold.

The U.S. currently lags behind 64 countries that already require GMO labeling. According to polls by Consumer Reports and The New York Times, over 90% of US consumers support GMO labeling. Alaska, Connecticut, Maine and Vermont already have labeling laws.

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Arty turns 10 this summer.