Here is a brief update on the bill to label foods that contain GMOs, which now has some momentum with. The assembly bill (A. 3525) was approved by the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection in April and then by the Codes Committee a few weeks ago. It now sits with the Ways & Means Committee.
These two weeks left in the legislative session are our last chance until next January to move this bill. So, this final push is very important.
Here’s Where Things Stand
The NY GE Food Labeling Campaign — a coalition which includes the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter — had yet ANOTHER VERY PRODUCTIVE DAY IN ALBANY (Tuesday) meeting with key members of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, other cosponsors of the Assembly bill, and chair of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee, Lee Zeldin. Here’s where things stand with the GMO labeling bill in each house:
Assembly — The bill must pass successfully through the Ways and Means Committee and the Rules Committee before it can come up for a floor vote before the entire Assembly. The person with the ultimate power when it comes to moving the bill through these committees and deciding whether (or not) to bring the bill to a floor vote if the bill does get that far is Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Senate — The chair of the Senate Consumer Protection Committee — Lee Zeldin — has given “Chairman’s Consent” to move the bill to the Rules Committee. This means sole power to put the bill up for a vote in Rules and then bring it to the Senate floor for a vote by the entire chamber rests solely in Senate GOP Leader Dean Skelos’ hands.
This is What You Can Do
First, please make two easy phone calls. You can call anytime- just leave a voicemail if you call after hours.
1. Call Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver at his Albany office: 518-455-3791. Say (in your own words if possible): “Hi, I’m a New Yorker who wants the right to know if my food has been genetically modified. Please move bill A.3525 through the Ways and Means Committee and then through the Rules Committee so that it can come before the entire Assembly for a floor vote before the end of the legislative session. Thank you!”
2. Call Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos at his Albany office: 518-455-3171. Say (in your own words if possible): “Hi, I’m a New Yorker who wants the right to know if my food has been genetically modified. Please put GMO labeling bill S3835 on the agenda for the Rules committee so it can be voted on and then brought to the Senate floor a vote. Thank you!”
3. Also, make sure you call your senator and assembly person. Tell them that you want to know which foods contain GMOs and you want mandatory labeling. To find your assemblyperson go to http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/?sh=search. To find your senator go to http://www.nysenate.gov