GMO Free CT leaders waited in the LOB for 13 hours to present testimony in support of HB 6519. We had incredible scientists, who voluntarily came on their own time to speak on behalf of the bill. They included John Fagan from Earth Open Source, and Michael Hanson from Consumer's Union. John is a former biotech scientist who "saw the light " and wrote the book "GMO Myths and Truths." Michael Hanson gave amazing testimony, dispelling all the claims made by the very well paid biotech lobbiests. (What an honor and privledge to meet and talk with each of them!) An exciting part of the day was when "Gerry" from Ben and Gerry's Ice Cream testified that his ice cream would be completely GMO Free by the end of this year, and the cost would not increase! Over 200 people got to have free ice cream provided by Gerry, which he scooped himself. Incredible! A father and mother, holding their two babies, testified with tears in their eyes that they want to know what is in the food that they feed their family. They described how difficult it is for them (and many families) to afford organic food in order to avoid GMOs and wish food could be truthfully labeled.
Testimony for HB 6519 – Beth Beisel, R.D. LLC3/15/2013
Good Afternoon Senator Gerratana, Representative Johnson, Vice chairs, Ranking members, and members of the committee: I’m here in support of HB 6519.
My name is Beth Beisel, and I’m a registered dietitian.That means that I received a bachelor’s degree in nutritional sciences, interned in a hospital, and passed a national registration examination. I also have to take continuing education credits to maintain my registration.
I have had a nutrition consulting practice for over 20 years.I’m here today to tell you how critical it is that consumers have access to transparent labels.Since food allergies have become more common, it is important that people who are told to avoid genetically engineered foods can. Right now the task is a very difficult one, and often discouraging. There are approximately 100 ingredients in processed foods that come from corn or soy, 2 of the most prevalent genetically engineered foods.It is time consuming and confusing for people to read food labels and search for the 100 or so particular ingredients in each product.Some people are lucky; they can just buy organic or non gmo project verified, to avoid GMOs, but not everyone can do this because it is more expensive to buy organic.
Some of the ingredients that may come from GMOs include: Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, citric acid, maltodextrine, textured vegetable protein, and soy isolates.It will be easier and safer for people with food allergies or any malady that might be related to ingestion of genetically engineered products, if it just simply states it on the label.
I believe that the sudden infusion of these ingredients into our food supply and the increasing rates of conditions we are currently seeing, including autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, and celiac disease, which I never even learned about in school, in the 1980s, could be related. I realize correlation is not causation, but correlation should be investigated.And it is impossible to investigate without the liability, accountability, and trace-ability that labeling will afford the citizens of CT.
It’s not just people with food allergies.We are all ingesting these ingredients every day.Babies get them in formula and teething crackers. Children get them in birthday cake with frosting, soda, Halloween candy and school lunches.Adults get them when they eat a salad covered in dressing made with vegetable or canola oil. And the elderly get them when they are prescribed nutritional supplements which are primarily corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets.
This is not a partisan issue; it is a human issue, and it affects every single one of us, including you and me, on a daily basis.
Please support this bill, and thank you for your time.
This testimony was presented on March 5, 2013 to the "kids committee" of the CT Legislature. The bill HB 6527, An act to label genetically engineered baby food, passed out of committee 11-1!
Testimony for the baby food labeling bill, HB 6527
Thank you, Representative Urban, for introducing this bill.
My name is Beth Beisel. I am a registered dietitian, and the mother of 3 children.I graduated from VillanovaUniversity and St. Joseph’s College. I am not a hippy, or a bored housewife.Over the last year, I have significantly decreased my income- producing consulting business to help educate people about the health risks of GMOs for a grassroots campaign called GMO FREE CT. As a health care professional, I have seen the effects of what our changing food supply has done to my clients. Gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, auto immune disorders – diseases I never learned about in school have reached epidemic proportions. I have friends and relatives who worry, daily, about the mortality of their children with fatal food allergies; these children can’t even sit with their friends at lunch, but instead must be segregated to a peanut free table, or a table for children with food allergies.This was unheard of 15 years ago.
Labels today list peanuts, sodium content, high fructose corn syrup, gluten and trans fat – but NOT genetically modified organisms, WHY?What is even more outrageous, is that even infant formula has GMOs and is unlabeled. PARENTS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IS IN THE FOOD THAT THEY FEED THEIR BABIES!
If a woman can’t or won’t nurse her baby, the alternative is formula.Formula is a chemically developed substance made primarily from derivatives of corn and soy. This means that the first food many infants ingest comes from a plant that has its own pesticide number…yes, that’s right. Every kernel of genetically engineered corn is made to express a deadly toxin, which causes a rootworm’s stomach to explode. Each type of genetically engineered corn has a pesticide number and is registered with the EPA. This is similar to the number on any chemical pesticide that you would find on the shelf at a hardware store. And it is in Baby Formula. THAT DOESN'T SOUND LIKE NUTRITION (as it was previously described by the biotech lobbiest) TO ME.
Infants do not have a fully developed immune system, nor is their blood brain barrier established.In Canada, BT toxin – used in GE corn, was found in the blood of pregnant women and in their unborn babies. The study was published last year in the Journal of Applied Toxicology.
Bacteria resistant to Round up, is also used in the genetic engineering of soy, corn, canola, and sugar beets. This hardwires them to withstand unprecedented saturation with chemicals like Roundup – which contains glyphosate and is geno- toxic.I am happy to provide peer reviewed medical literature which demonstrates that animals exposed to these foods develop smaller livers and brains, as well as infertility and cancerous tumors.The biotechnology industry claims that these foods are safe – but they have never been tested on humans. Your children – and mine – and you and I are the guinea pigs.
Because I DIDN’T KNOW, my babies ingested some of these chemicals and genetically modified foods, and I will have to live with that guilt and concern for the rest of my life.
We can’t depend on the FDA to protect our children’s health or tell us the truth.It is up to you, the CT General Assembly, to inform and protect the people who put you here.Over the last year, I have met many caring legislators with humility, who really do care about the people and their rights. I hope you will support this bill by affirming it, and encouraging House and Senate Leaders and the Governor’s office to support it.
A coalition of 39 states and Canada is watching CT. We can continue to be leaders and heroes or we can give in to corporate threats and interests. I believe CT will do the right thing, and let parents make informed decisions for themselves.
Thank you for opportunity to address this issue and for doing what is right for your constituents.
Medical Disclaimer: Information provided in this email is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Beth Beisel, R.D. LLC. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product.
Do not use the information provided in this email for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this email.
Information provided in this email and the use of any products or services related to this email by you does not create a dietitian-patient relationship between you and Beth Beisel,R.D., LLC. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.