Connecticut GMO measure becomes law

Published on: Jun 27, 2013

Connecticut Gov. Dan Malloy has signed into law a measure that passed the Connecticut General Assembly that requires food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and that are marketed in the state carry a label that they are genetically modified.

The bill passed the Connecticut House 134-3 and the Senate unanimously (Feedstuffs, June 17).

Connecticut becomes the first state in the U.S. to have a GMO label law, although it won't become effective until four other states with a combined population of 20 million people pass similar legislation, and one of those states must border Connecticut.

The law requires food products with GMOs bear a clear and conspicuous label that says "Produced with Genetic Engineering." Retailers who sell unlabeled foods made with GMOs would be subject to fines of $1,000 per product per day.

The law does not apply to alcoholic beverages, farm products sold at farmers markets or roadside stands, food not packaged for retail sales and food from animals that are not genetically modified regardless of drugs or feed that may be genetically modified and provided to the animals.

The assembly needs to pass legislation early next year that would clarify the definition of "genetically engineered" and "natural" food.