April 21, 2018

Vermont Senate Approves GMO Labeling Bill

The Vermont Senate has approved H.112, a bill to label GMO or GE foods, with a vote of 28 to 2. Tee bill now goes to the House for a final vote before it heads to the governor’s desk. Governor Peter Shumlin has indicated he is likely to sign it, which would make Vermont the first state to require labeling of genetically engineered products.

GMO TomatoIf the bill does become law, it would go into effect on July 1, 2016. While other states such as Maine have similar bills on the books, they also have trigger clauses, which means the law does not go into effect unless neighboring states pass labeling laws.

Vermont Right to Know GMOs, a collaborative project of several consumer advocacy groups, approved the action. That group has submitted petitions to the government with more than 36,000 signatures supporting this move. Consumer advocates want to see these foods labeled, stating that Americans have the right to know what’s in their food and how it is produced.

Ronnie Cummins, national diretor of the Organic Consumers Association said in a statement, “today’s victory in Vermont has been 20 years in the making. Ever since genetically modified crops and foods entered the U.S. food supply in the early 1990s, without adequate independent pre-market safety testing and without labels, U.S. consumers have fought to require the labeling of foods containing GMOs. Consumers demand for mandatory labeling of GMOs spawned a national grassroots movement that has persevered despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent by the biotech and food industries to lobby state lawmakers.”

Monsanto will most likely sue the state to stop H.112. And Representative Mike Pompeo (R-KS) has introduced a bill into the U.S. House, ironically called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” that would prohibit states from labeling GMO foods.

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