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Organic farmers hope for boost with rivals' labels

Published: Monday, July 6 2015 1:21 a.m. MDT

In this March 15, 2012 photo, a genetically engineered label is seen on a package of tortilla chips in Montpelier, Vt. Eighteen states are considering legislation that would require labeling of genetically modified foods, even though no study says genetically modified food is unhealthy or unsafe.  (Toby Talbot, Associated Press) In this March 15, 2012 photo, a genetically engineered label is seen on a package of tortilla chips in Montpelier, Vt. Eighteen states are considering legislation that would require labeling of genetically modified foods, even though no study says genetically modified food is unhealthy or unsafe. (Toby Talbot, Associated Press)

HARTFORD, Conn. — Many organic farmers are pushing for state laws that require labeling of genetically modified food from industrial producers because it could help the farmers' sales.

Eighteen states are considering such legislation, even though no study says genetically modified food is unhealthy or unsafe. Many legislators say labeling would simply give consumers more information about what they're eating.

Several organic growers say their business benefits from increased consumer scrutiny of agribusiness and rising demand for locally grown food. They say labeling would establish a bright line between their products and those of big growers.

Connecticut lawmakers were the first to advance a measure out of a committee last month, but avoided taking sides in the argument about whether genetically modified food has an impact on health. Legislators say they want to provide more consumer information.

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