Since August New Hampshire lawmakers have been considering arguments for and against the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms. The House Environment and Agriculture Committee has so far heard primarily from advocates of GMO labeling.
The most recent advocates of labeling to appear before the committee were Gary Hirshberg, formerly the CEO of Stonyfield yogurt, and Manchester Rabbi Eric Cohen.
“We’re not anti-GMO, we’re pro transparency,” Hirschberg told lawmakers, saying he has been down in DC working on a campaign he founded called Just Label It. The organization is currently pushing the FDA to require the labeling of GMOs.
Cohen, told the committee that the Jewish community is assessing whether inserting pig genes into fruit might be mean that food is no longer Kosher.
“That was the big debate, they said, ‘well, it’s a gene! It’s still an apple!’ or a pear I forget precisely what it was. And another organization whose name escapes me right now said, ‘oh no, it’s a pig!’” said Cohen. He says though parties disagree on whether such foods are Kosher, he favors labeling because “we’d like to know what it is.”
Any new bill on GMO labeling will be considered during the legislative session which will begin in January.