The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted today to oppose a bill that would have required new labeling for foods sold at retail that include genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or GMO ingredients. With a vote of 239-122, the lawmakers said the bill would be “inexpedient to legislate,” agreeing with the state’s Committee on Environment and Agriculture, which voted in January to oppose the bill.
Yesterday, IDFA sent a joint letter with the National Milk Producers Federation and the Northeast Dairy Farmers Cooperatives to every member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives, urging them to oppose the bill.
According to the committee’s chairman, Representative John O’Connor, mandatory labeling would unnecessarily burden taxpayers and impose unfunded mandates on New Hampshire’s 16 self-inspecting towns. The committee recommended that New Hampshire instead support a national labeling standard and the industry’s “SmartLabel” program, which offers a digital tool companies can use to provide detailed ingredient information to consumers.
“We applaud the New Hampshire General Assembly for rejecting the GMO labeling bill that would have unfairly stigmatized certain dairy products, caused consumer confusion, increased food prices and raised safety concerns where none exist,” said Ruth Saunders, IDFA vice president of policy and legislative affairs.
While New Hampshire has rejected mandatory GMO labeling in this bill, laws have passed in Vermont, Maine and Connecticut. The Vermont law will be the first to take effect, starting July 1 of this year.
Read the joint letter here.
For more information, contact Saunders at firstname.lastname@example.org.