Posted April 18, 2014
 
On Wednesday, the Vermont Senate passed a bill, 28-2, that would make Vermont the first state to enact mandatory labeling of foods made with genetically modified (GMO) ingredients, according to an article by Food Safety News available here.
 
The bill, H.112, must now go back to the House for final approval of changes made in the Senate.  Then, if the bill is signed by Governor Peter Shumlin, “which he has said he is likely to do, H.112 would become effective on July 1, 2016.
 
Maine and Connecticut have also passed GMO labeling laws, but they will not take effect until neighboring states pass similar bills.  Vermont’s bill, if passed, would be the first of its kind with no trigger clause.
 
Andrea Stander, spokesperson for the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition, said the group expects the biotechnology industry to file a lawsuit in an effort to stop the enactment of the bill, according to a Reuters article available here.
 
“It’s not just Vermont,” said Stander.  “This affects everyone who eats.  Consumers all across the country have woken up to the fact that we’ve become an unregulated feeding experiment by the biotech industry.  People want to know if their foods are made with these ingredients.  This gives people the choices.”
 
Companies like Monsanto, however, say GMO crops are proven safe.  “This debate isn’t about food safety,” said Karen Batra, spokeswoman for the Biotechnology Industry Organization.  “Our science experts … point to more than 1,700 credible peer-reviewed studies that find no legitimate concern.”

 

For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.