Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal's Bill to Require Labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods Passes the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee

Bill to label foods that contain or were made using genetically modified materials undergoes landmark vote
May 6, 2014

New York, NY – Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal's (D/WF-Manhattan) legislation, A.3525-D, which would require labeling of certain food products that are genetically engineered (GE), was successfully reported out of the Assembly’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection today. Despite significant lobbying by corporate special interests, such as the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association and the New York Farm Bureau, New York State took a courageous and important step towards mandatory labeling with this vote today.

"After months of hard work and despite the best efforts of lobbyists for the industry whose goal it was to 'kill this bill in committee,' I am pleased that my GMO bill was successfully reported out of the Committee on Consumer Affairs," said Assemblymember Rosenthal. "The vast majority of New Yorkers want to know what is in the food that they feed to their families, and today New York State is one step closer to making mandatory GMO labeling a reality. I look forward to continuing to work with the advocates and my colleagues in the Assembly to bring this bill to the floor for a vote."

Across the country, people are clamoring for GMO labeling. According to a recent poll, approximately 93% of all Americans support GMO labeling. The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has opted to stand on the sidelines of the GMO debate, leaving the states to act in response to the demands of their residents in the absence of federal regulation.

Currently, 22 states and numerous counties across the country are pursuing GMO labeling laws, either via ballot initiative or legislation. Connecticut and Maine each passed laws in 2013 that require GMO labeling, the implementation of which is contingent upon neighboring states’ passage of similar GMO labeling laws. Vermont at the end of last month historically became the first state in the nation to pass GMO labeling absent any contingency with relation to outside states or regions. Internationally, 26 countries including Italy, France, China and Saudi Arabia, have either total or partial GMO bans or GMO labeling in place. Significant restrictions on GMOs exist in about 60 other countries as well.

In preparation for this committee vote on the bill, Assemblymember Rosenthal has worked closely with Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection. She is grateful for his leadership in Committee as well as the brave Committee members who stood up to Monsanto and the pressure from the biotechnology industry and caste their votes in the affirmative.

Bill A.3525-D will require that certain food products containing GMOs be prominently labeled, providing consumers with important purchasing information.

Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal represents the 67th Assembly district, which includes the Upper West Side and parts of the Clinton/ Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods in Manhattan.