Connecticut is currently celebrating a Right-To-Know victory as they managed to pass state legislation to require GMOs (genetically modified organisms) to be labeled. Stipulations on the Bill mandates that 4 other Northeastern states pass labeling legislation and one of those states must share a border with CT.
Done to protect small businesses from being at a disadvantage while trying to comply. All eyes are on New York, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts; one of whom must pass GMO labeling legislation in order for Connecticut to become law. Currently New York lawmakers are mulling over GMO labeling in committee.
“The fact that this bill made it to an agenda demonstrates the distinct desire on the part of the New York State Assembly to tackle tough issues, and is also illustrative of tremendous impact that the advocates nationwide have had on this debate,” Rosenthal said.
“Clearly, there is still work to be done, but I am confident that this bill will pass, and am fortified for the fight that lies ahead,” she said. “The people deserve to know what they are putting into their bodies, and this setback only strengthens my resolve to see this bill become law.”
Lauren Schuster, Rosenthal’s chief of staff, said that a lobbyist for the Council for Biotechnology Information, which represents genetically modified food giants Monsanto and DuPont, attended the committee vote. A full roll call of the vote will not be made public until Tuesday, but Schuster said that some of the bill’s 41 sponsors had flipped on their support for the measure.
We are posting who flipped after the CBI Lobbyist visit to the committee. Meanwhile you can reach out to CBI & their lobbyists and thank them for their move of somehow swaying enough sponsors of a Bill to suddenly say no. Seems weird to me, if you have to spend 6 Billion in lobbyists per year, you may have more than just an image problem. Curious to see who rolled over.. wussed out.. or purchased… How much is an Assemblyman worth these days?
Word is Dennis Gabryszak cosponsored the bill and then turned on it.. Why? Ask him on twitter: @dgabryszak Ask him why he cosponsored a bill and then became a Flipper? What was the reason for the switch? What’s Gabryszak’s currency??
The other cosponsor; Aravella Simotas was stuck in traffic and said she had ‘phoned in her vote’ Monday morning.
Nine votes were needed to send this to the state legislators.
The votes were there. One cosponsor couldn’t make it to the meeting and the other one flipped.
Nice job NY. Nice.
Updates (per New Paltz Current)
12 p.m. Assembly member Aravella Simotas (D-Queens), who cosponsored the bill, was absent from yesterday’s committee meeting. According to Assembly member Jeff Dinowitz’s office (D-Bronx), who chairs the Consumer Affairs committee, the bill required 9 votes to pass but only received 7. The votes were as follows:
Yes: Jeffrey Dinowitz, Peter Abbate, Jr., Brian Kavanagh, Micah Kellner, Dan Quart, James Skoufis, Michaelle Solages
No: David Buchwald, Dennis Gabryszak, David McDonough, Tom McKevitt, Bill Nojay, Michael Simanowitz
Abstained: Edward Hennessey
Absent: Aravella Simotas
5:30 p.m. According to Samantha Darche, Simota’s chief of staff, the committee meeting was called while Simota was still en route to Albany.
Darche said that Simota “phoned in” her yes vote to Dinowitz’s office Monday morning.
However, Will Schwartz, Dinowitz’s Legislative Director, said that Simota “never communicated” with their office prior to the vote.
Additionally, Schwartz said that proxy voting is illegal under Assembly rules and Simota could not have phoned in her vote.
Assembly member Dennis Gabrysak, who also cosponsored the bill, voted against it during the same committee meeting.
Both Gabrysak and Simota’s votes were needed in order for the GMO labeling law to pass through the committee with 9 votes.
Find the Council for Biotechnology Information here:
Visit their website and listen to them blow smoke up their own ass