State Rep. Kim Fawcett and other members of the legislature’s Committee on Children recently held a public hearing at Fairfield University. They were interested in hearing from local residents about genetically modified foods (GMOs) and their effect on children as the committee looks into and debates several bills related to this topic during the 2013 session.
“I am passionate about these issues but even more importantly I knew that some incredibly active advocates on GMOs and the impact of toxins lived in our region,” Fawcett said. “It just seemed like a perfect fit to bring the process to them and give them a chance to testify locally on issues that they care about.”
The GMO movement has gained steam over the past three years due in part to two local activists Tara Cook-Lipman and Analiese Paik. Both testified at the public hearing and spoke about their desire to know if GMOs are present in their food.
Fawcett said that as moms with school aged children, they are fighting not just to change policy in Connecticut, but also have a vested interest in seeing their kids grow up healthy and safe, protected from the potential harmful impacts genetically engineered food products can deliver.
“I came to understand that subtle exposures to chemicals during pregnancy and during the early years of a child’s development can put a child at risk for life,” said Tanya Murphy, a Westport resident and board member of the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center. “Studies are now suggesting there is not only a direct relationship between toxic exposures in utero and in childhood, but that these exposures are having an epigenetic consequence and may be affecting future generations through the damaging of DNA.”
She and other advocates from the Fairfield County Greening our Children also testified on the broader toxins bills.
Fawcett’s office is still receiving testimony on all three pieces of legislation at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Children’s Committee will finish its work by March 12.