GMO Free CT, the grass roots group that used social media to unexpectedly win a Connecticut labeling law for genetically modified foods this year, is going national – backed by the sale of an organic smoothie drink about to go on sale at Whole Foods.
The new effort is a byproduct of the movement’s success and its failure: It overcame significant opposition to win passage of a first-of-its-kind law in June, but the measure will not take effect unless triggered by action in other states.
Four other Northeast states, including one that must border Connecticut, with an aggregate population of 20 million, require GMO labeling before labels are required here. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy did not want the state to impose a labeling rule alone.
“Our job in Connecticut is not complete until our bill goes into effect,” said Tara Littman-Cook of Fairfield, the founder of GMO Free CT.
The new national group, Citizens for GMO Labeling, is a coalition of grass-roots leaders from several states working on GMO labeling laws. It will be one of the nonprofit groups to share in the profits of a smoothie line from Suja Elements sold only at Whole Foods.
Citizens for GMO Labeling will get 20 cents from the sale of every bottle of Suja’s “berryoxidant” flavor. Suja will sell six flavors, with a different nonprofit designated as the beneficiary of each one. The company expects to donate $1 million.