The ramifications of the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture are varied—some have slowly become evident over time, and some remain unknown. Hearings for HB 1172 “GMO Labeling Bill” and HB 1388 “GMO Liability Bill” are scheduled to be held this Thursday in Concord, NH, and the Northeast Organic Farming Association–NH Chapter (NOFA-NH) invites the public to help build support for these bills. If you can describe why GMOs are bad for our health, are concerned about GMO seeds contaminating organic crops, or simply believe in the right-to-know in seed labeling, then your oral testimony—or written statement—is requested!
WHERE: Legislative Office Building (LOB), Room 308, 22 North State Street, Concord, NH
WHAT YOU CAN DO NOW: If you can’t attend the hearings on Thursday, submit your written statement for the record. Comments to the House received by email are not included in the permanent record, so please email statements to Elizabeth Obelenus of NOFA-NH (firstname.lastname@example.org), and she will print out the required copies and submit them in person at the hearings on Feb. 11 as official testimony.
- HB 1172 (GMO Labeling Bill) “defines genetically modified seeds and organisms and requires that genetically modified seeds be labeled as such.” (More and more people raise their own food in NH to ensure quality and purity—and to save money. How do they know if their seeds contain GMOs if the seeds they buy are not labeled? This bill asks that the time-honored consumer’s right-to-know be extended to seed labeling.)
- HB 1388 (GMO Liability Bill) “defines genetically modified seed or organism” and “establishes a cause of action for farmers sustaining damage from the use of mislabeled or genetically modified seeds or organisms.” (Genetic drift is proving to be a huge problem for farmers that do not purposefully raise GMO crops. If a farmer’s crop becomes contaminated with GMOs through pollen drift, this bill gives the farmer the right to seek damages.)
- If you wish to testify in person or want more information about how you can participate, contact Elizabeth Obelenus of NOFA-NH at 603-224-5022 or email@example.com.
- Slow Food Seacoast posted about a February 3 meeting related to these bills.
- Read an interesting recent article about GMO policy in NH in Front Door Politics.
- The House Environment & Agriculture Committee is set to make recommendations 1 week later, on Feb. 18.