July 22, 2018

Vermont House Passes GE Labeling Bill

The Vermont House of Representatives became the first legislative body in the country to pass a bill requiring all genetically engineered (GE) foods to be labeled as such with its passage of H112 by a vote of 99-42 on May 10. Because the vote came near the end of this session, it’s likely that that next step, a vote in the Vermont Senate, will not come until January 2014.

Food LabelsLabeling GE foods is required in dozens of countries, but not in the U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) have recently introduced a federal bill and, on a state level, bills similar to Vermont’s are pending in Maine, Connecticut and Washington. Alaska has already passed legislation requiring labeling of GE fish. And, laast fall, a ballot initiative in California that would have required all GE foods to be labeled was narrowly defeated with the help of major contributions from food companies.

“We commend the members of the Vermont House who voted for this bill, despite an onslaught of industry lobbying against it,” Michael Hansen, PhD, a senior scientist at Consumers Union said in a statement. Consumers Union is the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports.

GE labeling has gotten a lot of attention in recent months as the  U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) nears the end of its approval process for GE salmon which would be the first GE animal on the U.S. market.  If approved for sale, the GE fish will not have to be labeled the agency has said.  Several grocery stores have already pledged they will not be stocking the GE salmon if it is approved.

 

 

 

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