Posted April 9, 2014
Vermont may be the first state in the country to require labeling on genetically engineered (GE) food products, according to an article by Vermont Public Radio available here.
The bill, H. 112, was passed in the House, and then moved to the Senate where it was approved by the Agriculture and Judiciary Committees. The bill has now been referred to the Appropriations committee and will be considered by the full Senate.
When the House approved the bill, it specified that it will not go into effect unless other states pass similar proposals. The Senate bill, however, “doesn’t contain this trigger mechanism.”
If passed, the bill would require all GE food products to be labeled beginning in July of 2016.
Senate President John Campbell strongly supports the bill. Campbell said, “In today’s society especially with the emergence of all different maladies,” we should know what we are eating.
Senators acknowledged that, if passed, Vermont is likely to face lawsuits, according to an article by the Burlington Free Press available here. Addressing that concern, the bill includes the creation of a legal defense fund “to which people can voluntarily contribute and legal settlements the attorney general collects would go” into the fund until it reaches $1.5 million.
For more information on food labeling, please visit the National Agricultural Law Center’s website here.