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Jan 26, 2016 7:10 PM

Landrigan: Will NH join neighbors and require labeling of genetically modified foods?

CONCORD - Genetically engineered foods - a common link in the American food chain - but should all of them sold in New Hampshire be labeled?

NH1 News brings you this debate which got emotional and complicated on both sides.

"Somebody is going to process, produce a franken DNA that’s going to kill people like me, and I should have a right to cautiously decide whether to try a new product I haven’t tried before," said state Rep. Gary Hopper, R-Weare, who suffers from a severe peanut allergy.

Passion over whether to label genetically engineered foods. Will New Hampshire join its Northern New England neighbors?

"Are these genetically engineered foods bad for us?" asked Rep. Suzanne Smith, D-Hebron, rhetorically.

"There is no conclusive evidence that eating foods containing genetically-engineered ingredients are harmful, but if we look back 60 years, no one but a few crackpots thought cigarettes were harmful to your health."

A retired anthropologist said these alterations let her grow life-saving rice in Madagascar 30 years ago.

"I am here to speak for the poorest people in this world and this movement has deprived them of breeding for the crops that they subsist on," said Rep. Susan Almy, D-Lebanon.

A holistic counselor accuses chemical companies of spending millions to conceal information.

"Freedom of choice but to have real choice you need to know the facts and we have been denied that right. We have been lied to," claimed Deborah Gayner of Portsmouth.

But farmers say the bill while well-intentioned will only hurt local businesses.

"Many farmers in New Hampshire will be hurt by this legislation and consumers will not be informed any more than they already are," said Denis Ward, president of the New Hampshire Farm Bureau.

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