Legislators pass bills on GMO foods, guns

Hartford – A bill that will require labeling of foods produced with genetically modified organisms, after certain criteria are met, passed the House of Representatives 134-3 Monday. It now heads to the governor for his signature.

"This pertains to a very important public health issue: (It) allows the citizens of Connecticut the opportunity to know more about the food we eat," said Rep. Diana Urban, D-North Stongington.

The crafting of the language was a collaborative effort in the Senate, the House and the governor's office, Urban said, resulting in a compromise bill.

"Connecticut will be the first state in the nation to activate this labeling law," Urban said. She added that she expects other states will follow.

House Bill 6527 would take effect when at least four other Northeastern states — including one bordering Connecticut — pass similar legislation. The states must have a total population of at least 20 million people.

Manufacturers had been concerned that if Connecticut acted alone, creating a separate label distribution for just Connecticut would be too costly for them, Senate Minority Leader John McKinney, R-Fairfield, said last week.

GMO Free CT and Food Democracy, a grassroots movement of more than 650,000 citizens and farmers, applauded the legislation in a press release.

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The House has voted 131-15 in favor of Senate Bill 1094, which passed the Senate 33-1 earlier in the day and would clarify some restrictions in the comprehensive gun control legislation signed into law in April.

Connecticut residents who purchased assault weapons or large-capacity magazines on April 4, the day in which the governor signed the bill into law at 12:20 p.m., would be able to register, declare and possess such weapons and magazines legally, according to the bill. Previously there had been confusion as to whether such weapons and magazines purchased on the day the law passed would be considered legal.

The bill also clarifies which law enforcement personnel would be able to purchase, import and possess large-capacity magazines.

The gun-control bill banned Connecticut residents from purchasing large-capacity magazines -- those that can hold more than 10 rounds.

The bill would permit most police and corrections officers, state judicial inspectors and conservation officers and certain constables to purchase, import and possess large-capacity magazines.

Other Connecticut residents still eligible include a member of the military or naval forces, employee of a nuclear facility licensed by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and any person who is sworn and acts as a police officer on behalf of an armored car service, according to the bill.

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