Tuesday, May 28, 2013

What went on, behind the scenes:

We have been sitting on pins and needles for over a week now.  Our GMO labeling bills HB 6527 and HB 6519 were sitting under Speaker Sharkey's back pockets, going nowhere, despite our concessions and despite unprecedented support from Democrats and Republicans alike! Speaker Sharkey would not call the bill for a vote in the House. SO, our latest heros, President of the Senate Don Williams and  Senate Minority Leader John McKinney decided to create their own bill - SB 802.  It was announced at our rally, at the State Capitol, in front of close to 500 people who were there to support GMO labeling.

That same day, we watched the Senate debate the bill for over 2 hours, take a break ("PT" it,) and then  around 10:30 pm, VOTE IN FAVOR OF AN EFFECTIVE, FAIR, AND PROMISING BILL.....35-1! (The answer to your question is Senator Kane from Waterbury.)

A few nights later, around 11 pm, while on the phone with colleagues, and simultaneously watching CT-N, an original house bill (HB 6527 - nicknamed the baby bill,) was called for a vote.  We were shocked at how it was amended - knowing full well it was filled with loopholes that would make it very difficult to ever see a  "genetically engineered" label on a package.

While on a conference call with members of the GMO FREE CT Team, we were simultaneously on other lines with our legislators begging them not to vote yes for the bill.  Most of those Representatives had been working for three nights in a row.  They were tired, many didn't even have an explanation of the amendments, and were told by the Speaker that they couldn't go home until they voted on the bill.  What representative would want to be on the record for voting against a GMO labeling bill?!?  And so, they passed it.  But it's not over yet.  It has to go back to the Senate for a vote - or maybe it won't, maybe it will just die, as it should. There is a better bill that can come from the Senate and get passed by the House!

We have a week left, we have some very angry Senators and Representatives, who have had time to digest what happened and what that sham of a bill really meant,  and we have the passion of the people who want nothing but the truth on our food labels and from our leaders who we voted for and put our trust in.

This is critical; it's not over yet!  We have a week to get our right to know what's in our food. Please Please Please call or write to Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey and ask them to take care of the people of Connecticut, and not their special interests.  We can do this - together! Please see the letter below for more information.  Prayers will help too!  God has to be tired of "moving over" for the evil biotech industry.
GMO Free CT Logo

Hello to all our fellow GMO labeling warriors. 

Last week was certainly filled with its share of highs and lows.  To go from an almost unanimous vote in the Senate on a very strong GMO labeling bill, to the vote in the House on a toothless bill, was not easy for anyone.   We want to take this moment to fill you once again with hope and determination. We will not be defeated.  We will not stop fighting until we have a right to know what is in our food.

Today we are asking that you help us send a strong message to Governor Malloy and Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey, that they did not silence us by passing a deeply flawed bill with a trigger clause that is meant as a roadblock.  We have spent two years trying to reach a compromise with Governor Malloy and negotiated with his office in good faith.   He has now shown us his true colors.  Last Thursday, before any of the members of the House had a chance to read the Amendments to the GMO labeling bill provided by Governor Malloy’s office, Speaker Sharkey called the bill for a vote in the middle of the night when they thought no one was watching, and it passed.  But, we were watching!

Malloy and Sharkey thought we would go away after the passage of any GMO labeling bill.  They underestimated us, we will not go away until we have the right GMO labeling bill.  We are calling upon you today to let your voice be heard louder than ever before.  There is still hope, there are seven days left of the legislative session.  We will fight to the end.

Please call, write, tweet, and facebook Governor Malloy and Speaker Sharkey.  Please be respectful and polite in your communications, but do not be afraid to be firm. 

Governor Malloy
Call Governor Malloy today at (860) 566-4840 and state the following:
“Your amendments to the GMO labeling bill are unacceptable.  We ask that you please act to protect the interests of the citizens of CT, who elected you to office, rather than the outside influence of corporations who want to keep us in the dark about what we are eating.  We hope that when a legitimate GMO labeling bill lands on your desk, you will do the right thing and sign it into law.”

To e-mail Governor Malloy CLICK HERE.

Please write on Governor Malloy’s facebook page by clicking HERE.

Click to tweet Governor Malloy:
@GovMalloyOffice The amendments to the GMO Labeling bill are unacceptable. Give #CT citizens a transparent #RighttoKnow #LabelGMOs

@GovMalloyOffice The GMO labeling bill the House passed is toothless. Give #CT citizens transparency in labels, not roadblocks. #LabelGMOs

Speaker of the House, Brendan Sharkey
Call Speaker Sharkey today at 860-240-8500 and state the following: “The amendments to the GMO labeling bill provided to you by Governor Malloy are unacceptable.   You are not listening to your constituents.  The citizens of Connecticut want GMO labeling that will give us transparency, choice, and our right to know.”

Please e-mail Brendan Sharkey at Brendan.sharkey@cga.ct.gov.

Please write on Brendan Sharkey’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Sharkey.Brendan?ref=ts&fref=ts

Click to Tweet Brendan Sharkey:
@SharkBits88 There's no bite to the GMO labeling bill you passed. #LabelGMOs #RighttoKnowGMO

@SharkBits88 The amendments to the GMO Labeling bill are unacceptable. Give #CT citizens a transparent #RighttoKnow #LabelGMOs