"The fact that this bill made it to an agenda ... is also illustrative of tremendous impact that the advocates nationwide have had on this debate," said Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, lead sponsor of the bill.
Score another victory for Monsanto.
A bill introduced into the New York Assembly that would have required the labeling of genetically modified foods was defeated in committee Monday.
Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, D-Manhattan, the bill’s lead sponsor, vowed to try to find another way to bring the measure to a vote before the Legislature’s June 20 recess.
"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.
Supporters of mandatory labeling laws argue that not enough research has been done on the long-term health effects of genetically modified foods. Monsanto counters that numerous studies have demonstrated that there are no health risks with GMO products.
“The safety of our products is our first priority, and multiple health societies, hundreds of independent scientific experts and dozens of governments around the world have determined that foods and ingredients developed through biotechnology (or genetic modification) are safe,” Monsanto said in a statement on its website.