In 2012, a group of citizens met at the State of Connecticut’s Legislative Office Building while they were testifying in favor of a proposed bill that would require the labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods, commonly known as GMOs. There was an instant and strong connection based on their concern for safer foods for their children and future generations.
The group planned meetings and began to strategize about the best way to get a GMO labeling bill passed into law. Over the next year, the leadership group, which included parents, lawyers, dieticians, health coaches, farmers, clergy, doctors, teachers, media specialists, organic gardeners and legislators, became a campaign, eventually known as GMO Free CT.
The group put together talks and presentations for people in our communities about GMOs & how to avoid them. In addition to educating Connecticut’s citizens about the risks of GMOs, they also educated legislators and began advocating for a GMO labeling bill in Hartford.
After nearly two years in the face of strong opposition from the biotech industry, big food manufacturers and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the group wasn’t sure the bill was going to pass. However, due to GMO Free CT’s strong grassroots support and social media efforts, they were able to direct thousands of calls and Facebook posts to our Governor and Speaker of the House to send the message that the people wanted this law. It worked! Our GMO labeling bill passed in a bi-partisan landslide on June 26, 2013. On this day, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass a GMO Labeling Law. This was truly democracy in its finest moment. The people fought back against the most powerful industries in our country and won!
Within months of the passage of our GMO labeling bill, the leadership of GMO Free CT formed ConnFACT to broaden our efforts to protect Connecticut citizens from chemical trespass.