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Ben & Jerry's Co-Founder, Conn. Lawmakers Speak In Support Of GMO Labeling

AP Photo/Tim Roske

Jerry Greenfield, one of the co-founders of Vermont-based Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, joined Connecticut lawmakers in Hartford on Thursday to speak in support of labeling foods that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

While the Food and Drug Administration says GMOs are safe, advocates for labeling say not enough is known about their risks. Greenfield says his company is proud of not using GMOs and that’s been reflected in its packaging for the past year and a half.

“I can’t understand why food companies wouldn’t want to tell their customers what is in the food that they are selling them,” he said. “It is just beyond comprehension.”

The Grocery Manufacturer’s Association says it makes sense for companies to voluntarily label products “GMO Free” but all food companies shouldn’t be required to do so because nearly 80 percent of packaged foods in grocery stores contain GMOs.

Connecticut was the first state in the country to pass a law that required GMO food labels in 2013, but the law won’t take effect until four other Northeast states pass similar measures. One would have to be a border state. So far, Maine and Vermont have passed GMO labeling laws.

A bill that would stop states from requiring GMO labels passed the U.S. Senate’s Agriculture Committee this week. Supporters say the bill would eliminate the potential of 50 states having 50 different GMO labeling laws.

This story contains information from the Connecticut Radio Network

Dan is a former News Director at WSHU