Malloy Serves Up Historic GMO Labeling Law In Fairfield Restaurant

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Gov. Dannel Malloy signs the GMO labeling law in Fairfield's Catch A Healthy Habit Cafe with local lawmakers and supporters.
Gov. Dannel Malloy signs the GMO labeling law in Fairfield's Catch A Healthy Habit Cafe with local lawmakers and supporters. Photo Credit: Alissa Smith

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield restaurant Catch A Healthy Habit hosted Gov. Dannel Malloy and local lawmakers Wednesday afternoon for the official signing of a historic state law that requires food products to be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.

“I am proud that leaders from each of the legislative caucuses can come together to make our state the first in the nation to require the labeling of GMOs,” said Malloy. “The end result is a law that shows our commitment to consumers’ right to know while catalyzing other states to take similar action.”

Four other states must enact similar GMO laws before the labeling can begin. The combined population of the five states must number at least 20 million people and include Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania or New Jersey.

In the small, crowded restaurant on Unquowa, supporters of the legislation gathered, including Tara Cook-Littman, director of GMO Free CT and one of the advocates for the law. The lunch-time crowd packed in to watch as Malloy signed the bill. 

Cook-Littman said she was excited that everyone could gather in the same place where she and state Rep. Tony Hwang, a Republican from Fairfield, first spoke about the possibility of such a bill.

“We are hopeful that legislators throughout the Northeast will follow the lead of Governor Malloy and all our legislative champions by passing laws that give consumers transparency in labeling. It is a great honor for all of us to stand with Governor Malloy as he signs the first in the nation GMO labeling law,” Cook-Littman said.

“This bill moves forward and reinforces our fundamental right to know what is in our food so we can make informed choices about what we feed our families,” said Hwang . “Consumers may or may not wish to purchase foods that they know to be genetically modified, but they need the information made available to them to make those informed choices.”

The bill also includes language that protects Connecticut farmers by ensuring regional adoption of the new labeling system before requiring local farms to analyze and label genetically engineered products.

“I'm hopeful the rest of the nation will follow Connecticut's lead,” said state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, R-Fairfield.

The bill is a huge step forward, Malloy said, adding that he was proud to be governor of the first state in the country to pass such a labeling law.

“I also want to be clear: This law does not ban anything. It requires the labeling of food products that have been modified with genetic engineering and do not occur naturally,” he said.

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Peer reviewed study from; "Environmental Sciences Europe";
"Impacts of genetically engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. -- the first sixteen years" - Sept 2012;


"Herbicide-resistant crop technology has led to a 239 million kilogram (527 million pound) increase in herbicide use in the United States between 1996 and 2011, while Bt crops have reduced insecticide applications by 56 million kilograms (123 million pounds). Overall, pesticide use increased by an estimated 183 million kgs (404 million pounds), or about 7%."


"Contrary to often-repeated claims that today’s genetically-engineered crops have, and are reducing pesticide use, the spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds in herbicide-resistant weed management systems has brought about substantial increases in the number and volume of herbicides applied. If new genetically engineered forms of corn and soybeans tolerant of 2,4-D are approved, the volume of 2,4-D sprayed could drive herbicide usage upward by another approximate 50%. The magnitude of increases in herbicide use on herbicide-resistant hectares has dwarfed the reduction in insecticide use on Bt crops over the past 16 years, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future."

From Monsanto's web site;

"Roundup agricultural herbicides and other products are used to sustainably and effectively control weeds on the farm. Their use on Roundup Ready crops has allowed farmers to conserve fuel, reduce tillage and decrease the overall use of herbicides."

It doesn't take an Einstein or a PhD to know not to do certain things. Consuming is one of those. But their is Science. Sure you can find inadequacies in any literature if you try. So well; done ! So now, do you eat yellow snow? Even if you were told it's only a dye or what?
We have had enough rush to use discoveries in my life. Thalidomide comes to mind almost immediately. Also with many scientists and PhD's & MD's there were and are people that won't allow administration of Polio Vaccine to their loved ones. So drink up the kool aid Jamestown

I looked over that list. Very few have actuak PhDs and most of those are not in the physical sciences. Their opinions are thus not science based.

Scientific American, (Aug 2009); "Do Seed Companies Control GM Crop Research?";

" ...Unfortunately, it is impossible to verify that genetically modified crops perform as advertised. That is because agritech companies have given themselves veto power over the work of independent researchers.

To purchase genetically modified seeds, a customer must sign an agreement that limits what can be done with them. (If you have installed software recently, you will recognize the concept of the end-user agreement.) Agreements are considered necessary to protect a company’s intellectual property, and they justifiably preclude the replication of the genetic enhancements that make the seeds unique. But agritech companies such as Monsanto, Pioneer and Syngenta go further. For a decade their user agreements have explicitly forbidden the use of the seeds for any independent research. Under the threat of litigation, scientists cannot test a seed to explore the different conditions under which it thrives or fails. They cannot compare seeds from one company against those from another company. And perhaps most important, they cannot examine whether the genetically modified crops lead to unintended environmental side effects.

Research on genetically modified seeds is still published, of course. But only studies that the seed companies have approved ever see the light of a peer-reviewed journal. In a number of cases, experiments that had the implicit go-ahead from the seed company were later blocked from publication because the results were not flattering. “It is important to understand that it is not always simply a matter of blanket denial of all research requests, which is bad enough,” wrote Elson J. Shields, an entomologist at Cornell University, in a letter to an official at the Environmental Protection Agency (the body tasked with regulating the environmental consequences of genetically modified crops), “but selective denials and permissions based on industry perceptions of how ‘friendly’ or ‘hostile’ a particular scientist may be toward [seed-enhancement] technology.”

Shields is the spokesperson for a group of 24 corn insect scientists that opposes these practices. Because the scientists rely on the cooperation of the companies for their research—they must, after all, gain access to the seeds for studies—most have chosen to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals. The group has submitted a statement to the EPA protesting that “as a result of restricted access, no truly independent research can be legally conducted on many critical questions regarding the tech­nol­ogy... ”

Here is one small example of the way that the truth gets attacked and buried by big money, ...or, you just go on believing in the integrity and honesty of what industry backed science is selling;

Regarding the scientist Seralini, who you are obviously familiar with at this point;

"Independent GM researcher wins court victory for defamation"
GM Free Cymru, Press Notice, 19 January 2011

"On Tuesday January 18, the court of Paris concluded the lawsuit between Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini, researcher in molecular biology at the University of Caen and President of the Scientific Council of CRIIGEN, and the French Association of Plant Biotechnologies [Association Française des Biotechnologies Végétale] (AFBV), chaired by Marc Fellous.

Séralini sued for libel following a smear campaign, which appears to have come from AFBV. This was part of a furious response from the GM industry to a number of papers by Seralini and colleagues which demonstrated serious statistical and other shortcomings in the Monsanto research dossiers submitted in support of applications for the approval of three GM varieties. The papers had not argued that the Monsanto GM maize lines were actually dangerous, but had simply argued that there were no grounds for assuming them to be completely harmless. They asked for further research and longer animal feeding studies than those that had been conducted.

Seralini believed the researchers Claude Allegre, Axel Kahn, and Marc Fellous were behind the defamation and intimidation campaign in France and that is why he pursued Fellous in the courts. He argued that the campaign had damaged his reputation, reducing his opportunities for work and his chances of getting funding for his research.

During the trial, it was revealed that Fellous, who presented himself as a 'neutral' scientist without personal interests, and who accused those who criticise GMOs as 'ideological' and 'militant', owned patents through a company based in Israel. This company sells patents to many corporations such as Aventis. Seralini's lawyer showed that various other AFBV members also have links with agribusiness companies -- so their scientific impartiality and integrity came under careful scrutiny.

The court found in Seralini's favour. The judge sentenced the AFBV to a fine on probation of 1,000 EUR, 1 EUR for compensation (as requested by the plaintiff) and 4,000 EUR of court fees. ..."

jwcnmr - You obviously carry a high regard and trust for industry funded research and industry itself, and choose to ignore the facts regarding the corruption that exists there in service to the big bucks. Perhaps you're a stock holder. We sure benefited immensely from Monsanto's agent orange defoliant during the Vietnam War (that Monsanto had assured us was not harmful to people either). Tell that to all the vets who have and are suffering the effects. We also benefited immensely from recombinant bovine growth hormone that Monsanto created to force cows to produce more milk. The only problem was not only did it result in cows having to be given loads more antibiotics because of the infections that were developing from over milking, but now the consumer was also being regularly dosed with the effects of all of this on their bodies.

I expect you also are very much in favor of industry owning and controlling the food supply on a global level and creating crops that are impotent and incapable of producing seed, to insure that farmers are forced to annually have to purchase more seed from the patent holding industry. .... I mean hey, it sure as hell is profitable in more ways than one. Just consider, if the fact of the rising incidence of cancer within the population over the past couple of decades has anything to do with the nearly synchronous rise in the presence of gmo's in the food supply, it only means more big bucks to the pharmaceutical industry as it's profits continue to rise congruently. .. Of course we shouldn't pay any attention to the numerous medical doctors out there who have seen more than one of their patients systemic conditions clear up soon after they eliminated gmo foods from their diet. There's no scientific proof of this however, so we should just ignore it. God knows industry would never sell any products that it knew was potentially harmful to people and or the natural environment. Industry's track record is a testament to that fact. ... yeah right.

Sorry. ... You go right on putting your faith in the integrity of industry funded scientific research. Personally I am painfully too aware of just how untrustworthy it in fact is. It's called selfish greed. It is also the reason why there is so little research present which challenges it's findings. The money to support such research being done, simply is not there, because there's no profits to be gained from it and if such findings happen to appear in any of industries own research, it gets buried real fast. Note here once again what I posted here previously regarding the scientists from the FDA who pleaded with Obama to clean up the agency. .... Big money. .. it's what runs our world today, and it aint in service to humanity my friend. If you believe that you really are uninformed, or perhaps you missed what took place in 07' 08' in the housing market. .... and a new housing bubble is being blown up right now thanks to the control that industry has over the federal government.

The trouble with research today is that it is in no way in service to humanity, (as much as industry would have you believe that it is, and does a very clever job of selling the public that idea), it is in service to big profits and nothing else. If you don't believe that you are a fool.

Hardly emotion based. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine for one, would disagree with you;

"... There is more than a casual association between GM foods and adverse health effects. There is causation as defined by Hill's Criteria in the areas of strength of association, consistency, specificity, biological gradient, and biological plausibility.5 The strength of association and consistency between GM foods and disease is confirmed in several animal studies.2,6,7,8,9,10,11

Specificity of the association of GM foods and specific disease processes is also supported. Multiple animal studies show significant immune dysregulation, including upregulation of cytokines associated with asthma, allergy, and inflammation. 6,11 Animal studies also show altered structure and function of the liver, including altered lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as cellular changes that could lead to accelerated aging and possibly lead to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS). 7,8,10 Changes in the kidney, pancreas and spleen have also been documented. 6,8,10 A recent 2008 study links GM corn with infertility, showing a significant decrease in offspring over time and significantly lower litter weight in mice fed GM corn.8 This study also found that over 400 genes were found to be expressed differently in the mice fed GM corn. These are genes known to control protein synthesis and modification, cell signaling, cholesterol synthesis, and insulin regulation. Studies also show intestinal damage in animals fed GM foods, including proliferative cell growth9 and disruption of the intestinal immune system.6

Regarding biological gradient, one study, done by Kroghsbo, et al., has shown that rats fed transgenic Bt rice trended to a dose related response for Bt specific IgA. 11

Also, because of the mounting data, it is biologically plausible for Genetically Modified Foods to cause adverse health effects in humans. ..."

Science + pseudoscience = pseudoscience. AAEM does not fare well at RationalWiki:

Rational does not mean informed. You can seek to discredit the messenger all you like, but that is not going to change the fact that the evidence against the safety and integrity of GMO's is very strong. ... Did you happen to read the example of the Russian study that I posted below here or the information about the environmental impact of gmo's from the 'Union of Concerned Scientists', or the "Press release from the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility regarding the 129 scientists who are expressing concern about the safety of gmo's? ....

None of this even begins to address the corruption that can be cited against the industry and the research it has and does fund. I could post pages about it here. Of course the fact that our FDA is presently headed up by an Obama appointed former top Monsanto executive seems right in sync with what's become of scientific research at this point. ..... Gee, do you think the fact that when Obama first took office, as reported in the Wall St Journal, a group of scientists from the FDA went and pleaded with him to please clean up the agency because it was/is so corrupt that they were/are unable to produce honest and accurate work. Of course good old Obama, who campaigned on the promise that GMO's would be labeled, ... did absolutely nothing and instead placed the industry at the helm of the FDA.

By taking this foolish step, Connecticut has become the first state to be awarded the Scientifically Illiterate Hall of Shame. There is absolutely no science behind this position: no evidence that GMO foods are in any way harmful, and thousands of peer-reviewed papers showing that they pose no harm. Every major scientific organization world wide has considered the science and concluded that GMO foods are in no way dangerous. Malloy has succumbed to the shrill persuasions of the organic food lobby which has funded this drive from the start because they fear the competition of safe, productive crops.

El-Shamei, ZS et al, Histopathological Changes in Some Organs of Males Rats Fed on GM corn

(Ajeeb YG) Journal of American Science 2012 8(10)

"Ajeeb YG is a genetically modified (GM) insect resistant corn produced by incorporated the MON 810 (Monsanto) borer resistance trait in the best corn germplasm Ajeeb. The safety of Ajeeb YG corn was assessed by comparison of toxicology response variables in rats consuming diets containing Ajeeb YG with those containing Ajeeb corn grains. Corn grains from Ajeeb YG or Ajeeb were incorporated into rodent diets at 30% concentrations administered to rats (n=10/group) for 91 days. An additional negative control group of rats (n=10/group) were fed AIN93G diets. Rats fed on GM corn showed histopathological changes. Liver displayed cytoplasmic vacuolation of centrolobular hepatocytes and fatty degeneration of hepatocytes. Kidneys showed congestion of renal blood vessels and cystic dilatation of renal tubules. Testes revealed necrosis and desquamation of spermatogoneal germ cells lining seminiferous tubules. Spleen showed slight lymphocytic depletion and splenic congestion. Small intestine showed hyperplasia, hyperactivation of mucous secretory glands and necrosis of intestinal villi were detected. Due to these observations, we suggest that the risk of GM crops cannot be ignored and deserves further investigations in order to identify possible long-term effects, if any, of GM food consumption that might help in the post market surveillance."

Jrnl Of Applied Chemistry, (March - April 2013); "Chemical Analysis of BT corn "Mon-810: Ajeeb-YG ®" and itscounterpart non-Bt corn "Ajeeb";

"IV. Conclusion"
"Obviously, the genetic modification of Bt corn showed significant differences from the conventionalcounterpart, where, the total protein, crude fat, crude fiber & total saccharides showed significant increase in Btcorn as compared to non Bt corn. Whereas ,the starch content showed significant decreased compared to non Bt.The Mineral content were also affected, where calcium & sodium were significantly decreased in Bt corn, while phosphorous increased dramatically in Bt corn. All fatty acids were detected with various values in Bt corncompared to non Bt corn except for Palmitoleic acid & 13- octadecenoic acids were not detected in Bt corn andmost probably lost. In respect to amino acids, some essential and non essential amino acids were lost in Bt corn.Thus, it may be conclude that the genetic modification process caused several alternation in the chemicalcomposition in corn that may be toxic to the human food and the animals feed. Accordingly, further long termfeeding studies are required to assess the actual safety of Bt corn."

Jrnl Of American Science, (2012);
"Morphological and Biochemical Changes in Male Rats Fed on Genetically Modified Corn";

" Abstract : This study was designed to evaluate the safety of genetically modified (GM) corn (Ajeeb YG). Corngrains from Ajeeb YG or its control (Ajeeb) were incorporated into rodent diets at 30% concentrations administeredto rats (n= 10/group) for 45 and 91 days. An additional negative control group of rats (n= 10/group) was fedAIN93G diets. General conditions were observed daily, total body weights were recorded weekly. At thetermination of the study periods, some visceral organs (heart, liver, kidneys, testes and spleen) and serum biochemistry were measured. The data showed several statistically significant differences in organs/body weight andserum biochemistry between the rats fed on GM and/or Non-GM corn and the rats fed on AIN93G diets. In general,GM corn sample caused several changes by increase or decrease organs/body weight or serum biochemistry values.This indicates potential adverse health/toxic effects of GM corn and further investigations still needed. ..."

Just one example of the evidence of GMO's being harmful;

'REGNUM'; - "Genetically modified soy affects posterity: Results of Russian scientists’ studies";

" ... Thus, according to these results, the abnormally high level of posterity death has been detected at the posterity of the female species with GM-soy added to their food. And 36% percent of born rats weighed less than 20 grams that is an evidence of their extremely weak condition."

“The morphology and biochemical structures of rats are very similar to those of humans, and this makes the results we obtained very disturbing,” said Irina Ermakova to NAGS press office. According to NAGS Vice-president Aleksey Kulikov, the data received by Dr.Ermakova confirm the necessity of full scale tests of GM-products influence over living creatures."

This appears to be a press release, not a peer-reviewed paper, and Ermakova is a well-known anti-GMO activist,so this work is hardly unbiased.
More to the point is the work of Nicolia who undertook a review of nearly 2000 papers on the effects GM crops and found absolutely no evidence that they cause any sort of harm.

So it's ok for research results to come from obviously pro GMO industry funded sources but it's not ok for research results to come from a source that is anti - GMO? ... Interesting.

While it would appear that there is a consensus regarding safety amongst the major international organizations such as the WHO, there is not in fact a consensus amongst the scientific community regarding the safety of GMO's. If there were you would not find for example the list of apparently rather significant scientists in the following linked article raising issue with GMO safety;

"Leading scientists say no consensus on safety of genetically modified organisms";

What you claim to be so regarding there being no evidence that GMO's are harmful in any way is simply blatantly wrong. You are uninformed. Of course it doesn't help that just as is the case where pharmaceutical research is concerned, most scientific research on GMO's is industry funded and is rampant with corrupt reporting in favor of industry. But for starters just consider the environmental effects of GMO crops ...

Quote from an article on "The Union Of Concerned Scientists";

" ... At the same time, in the countries that have used these technologies the longest, big problems are emerging. Weeds resistant to the herbicide used on Monsanto’s crops have reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., reportedly infesting about 60 million acres and increasing rapidly. This has increased herbicide use by hundreds of millions of pounds above where it probably would have been had these crops not existed."

"And now insects resistant to Bt are emerging around the world. I was at the University of Illinois recently, where I heard a respected corn entomologist bemoaning the intention of corn farmers to return to the use of chemical insecticides to control rootworms that have developed resistance to Monsanto’s Bt gene for controlling that important pest."

"On top of that, USDA does not even count the over 90 percent of corn seed—that’s close to 90 million acres—that is treated with neonicotinoid insecticides that are implicated in seriously harming bees and other beneficial organisms. One of the major producers of these insecticides is Chilton’s company, Syngenta."

"The point is that the static and narrowly focused economic analyses that have touted the (limited) benefits of GE do not take into account that these products have been developed for use in monoculture agriculture systems, where their nominal value is very temporary (the industry’s solution is more of the same, e.g. new herbicide-resistant crops that will further increase herbicide use)."

"Add to this the questions raised about monopoly control of the seed supply via intellectual property (patents), weak-kneed regulators, and the challenge of using GE successfully for developing genetically and physiologically complex traits like drought tolerance, and the successes of this technology as applied so far are seen to be meager, and substantially outweighed by its faults. ..."

Born in Ithaca NY and now occasionally travel there for family events, I have seen the farmland from Dryden to Cortland turn into a GMO lab .. Hundreds of square miles with signs sporting ears of corn icons and hybrid numbers like # 1035679. Then the use of hebicides such as "round up" leaching into the ground water.. Mr.Hwang went to Cornell and I am sure he can speak to the vast "Food labs" that these University controlled farmlands represent. It is true they are good for business but I wonder just how much research has gone into what extent and effect they have on humans. This would not be the first corporate revolution that took years, maybe decades to express their effect on user and the world around them. Why should we wait to find out and be blind about our choices as we wait for the "Science" to reveal itself as positive, negative or benign.
An informed consumer is a smart consumer.. Smart is what we want isn't it?

Eloquently written. Yes, indeed informed is what we want. Unfortunately only a few, well learned people will heed the labels advice
Born in Oneida, I remember the fight to keep DDT as an insecticide of choice, regardless of labeling that went on since decades prior.
I have an apple tree here that I have managed to keep alive ( not owning a green thumb ) for 30 years and have kept a 15 foot radius of the trunk free of any chemicals either for lawn or ornamental shrubs. About 5 years ago I stopped eating the fruit of this tree because of what I fear my new neighbors use on their lawns has leached into the soil and are at a grade from zero to twenty feet above me.

The Science is already written on the wall and we will have labeling as soon as a few more states sign on. The end user will most often allow their choice to be lead or driven by cost, brand loyalty and even perceived taste.

As for myself, I will avoid what I can, use what I like and not worry to much about consequences. Although my medicine cabinet has nothing but toothpaste, razor blades and nsaid's. Apparently healthy as a horse, at my age food products probably won't do any damage before something else grabs me. If I didn't ' see ' what's going down on the ground behind my property, I might be able to enjoy my own apples but it's not a label doing that.
Cigarette packages have had clear labeling that informs of dire consequences, that in my opinion did little. It took outcries from non-users to curb cigarette use. ' Smart is what we want ' and yet you can't fix stupid.

These products need to be a no-brainer. Allowing choice works poorly, denying availability works best but that's a slippery slope. I'm all for labeling but I also think it's like spitting into the wind.

Lastly, if nothing else I Like heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables I avoid corn fed meats and I like my chickens running wildly, never taking antibiotics, from shell to shelf regardless of their behavior. ;-)

Maine and Vermont have something similar and in Washington State, it was turned down. Most it will do is inform consumers. That's not really a Science.
Economically speaking, it will give stores an opportunity to raise prices on non- tainted food products, acting on emotion over intellect. Oh there's the Science, Psychology !
I have to say, I'm not opposed to labeling and I'm indifferent about GMO cattle but it will make near impossible finding heirloom food crops as seeds spread easily by birds, and the wind. Farmers will have problems with their GMO crops sprouting up on their neighbors farm.

It's just a labeling law. Restaurants are supposed to display signage if the use margarine ' Oleo served here'. When's the last time you saw that law observed?

There are no GMO cattle. The major GM crops are corn, soy, canola, sugar beets, some squash and Hawaiian papayas.

I won't argue this issue with you.

GMO Livestock, to my knowledge, have existed since the mid 90's.
There are hundreds of documents to support this.
There is one paper, by Huntington F. Willard, PhD written in
May of 2006 that you might enjoy, it's written in simple, clear language.
Willard was Dir. of Duke Univ. Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.

The emotion supporting the passage of this GMO labelling law vastly outweighs the science.

Article from; "European Network Of Scientists For Social And Environmental Responsibility"

"297 Scientists And Experts Agree GMOs Not Proven Safe";

"Press release, European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility, 10 Dec 2013

The number of scientists and experts who have signed a joint statement[1] saying that GM foods have not been proven safe and that existing research raises concerns has climbed to 297 since the statement was released on 21 October.

Dr Angelika Hilbeck, chair of the European Network of Scientists for Social and Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), which published the statement, said, “We’re surprised and pleased by the strong support for the statement. It seems to have tapped into a deep concern in the global scientific community that the name of science is being misused to make misleading claims about the safety of GM technology.”

The statement indirectly challenges claims by EU chief science adviser Anne Glover that there is no evidence that GM foods are any riskier than non-GM foods.[2]

Dr Rosa Binimelis Adell, board member of ENSSER, said, “It seems that Anne Glover chooses to listen to one side of the scientific community only – the circle of GMO producers and their allied scientists – and ignores the other. Thus she is giving biased advice to the EU Commission. For a science adviser, this is irresponsible and unethical.”

New signatories to the statement include Dr Sheldon Krimsky, professor of urban and environmental policy and planning at Tufts University and adjunct professor in the department of public health and family medicine at the Tufts School of Medicine. Dr Krimsky said: ..."