Quantcast

Vermont GE Labeling Law Moves One Step Closer to Reality

Food

The Vermont Senate today voted 28-2 to approve legislation that would require foods produced using genetic engineering (GE) to be labeled in Vermont. Minor changes made by the Senate must still be approved by the state House, which previously approved the measure (107-37). Pending the governor’s signature, the law would take effect July 1, 2016.

Photo courtesy of
VT Right to Know GMO Facebook page

“This is a major victory for the food movement,” said Rebecca Spector, who heads state labeling efforts at Center for Food Safety. “Vermont will be the first state to enact a law to protect consumers’ right to know what is in their food without requiring other states to do so prior to implementation. Nationwide GE labeling is not a question of if; it’s only a question of when. And the answer is soon.” 

Unlike other state labeling laws, the Vermont labeling bill (H. 112) is the first bill which will go into effect regardless of actions by other states. Previous GE labeling bills have required that a certain number of states enact similar legislation before they would take effect.

Once signed into law, Vermont’s mandatory labeling policy will likely set the stage for more states to introduce and adopt no strings attached labeling laws.

Center for Food Safety helped draft the legislation in consultation with state representatives and has been at the center of the fight to inform consumers about GE foods for over a decade. Center for Food Safety provided legal testimony before the Vermont Legislature in 2005 and has maintained an active presence in the state, providing resources and expert legal and scientific advice to the citizens and lawmakers of Vermont.

Sixty-four nations including China, South Africa and all countries in the European Union currently require GE foods to be labeled. Rep. DeFazio (D-OR) and Sen. Boxer (D-CA) recently introduced federal legislation that would require nationwide labeling of GE products. That bill has 65 cosponsors.

“Unfortunately, chemical giants like Monsanto and Dow Chemical will not accept the will of the people,” said Colin O’Neil, director of government affairs at Center for Food Safety. “Vermont’s initiative has spurred agrichemical industry lobbyists to push legislation at the national level that would eliminate states’ rights to protect their consumers. We vow to fight them every step of the way and call out industry efforts to keep consumers in the dark.”

--------

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

'Big Food' Ready for Costly Battle as States Consider GMO Labeling Bills

2014 Will Be a Make or Break Year for GMO and 'Natural' Food Label Fight

200+ Groups Call on President Obama to Keep Campaign Pledge to Label GMOs

--------

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Farm waste being prepared for composting. USDA / Lance Cheung

By Tim Lydon

Can the United States make progress on its food-waste problems? Cities like San Francisco — and a growing list of actions by the federal government — show that it's possible.

Read More
Pexels

By C. Michael White

More than two-thirds of Americans take dietary supplements. The vast majority of consumers — 84 percent — are confident the products are safe and effective.

Read More
Sponsored
Pexels

By Brianna Elliott, RD

Coconut oil has become quite trendy in recent years.

Read More
The common giant tree frog from Madagascar is one of many species impacted by recent climate change. John J. Wiens / EurekAlert!

By Jessica Corbett

The human-caused climate crisis could cause the extinction of 30 percent of the world's plant and animal species by 2070, even accounting for species' abilities to disperse and shift their niches to tolerate hotter temperatures, according to a study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read More
SolStock / Moment / Getty Images

By Tyler Wells Lynch

For years, Toni Genberg assumed a healthy garden was a healthy habitat. That's how she approached the landscaping around her home in northern Virginia. On trips to the local gardening center, she would privilege aesthetics, buying whatever looked pretty, "which was typically ornamental or invasive plants," she said. Then, in 2014, Genberg attended a talk by Doug Tallamy, a professor of entomology at the University of Delaware. "I learned I was actually starving our wildlife," she said.

Read More