Vermont GMO Labeling Bill Signed But Will Be Appealed

Friday, 09 May 2014 06:32 PM

By Ken Mandel

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Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin hailed Thursday's signing of a bill that will require the labeling of genetically modified, or GMO, foods as an important step for his state.

"Vermonters take our food and how it is produced seriously, and we believe we have a right to know what's in the food we buy," Shumlin said, according to CNN. "More than 60 countries have already restricted or labeled these foods, and now one state — Vermont — will also ensure that we know what's in the food we buy and serve our families."

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By the end of the day, however, the food industry announced it will challenge the law in court.

"(The new law) sets the nation on a costly and misguided path toward a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling policies that will do nothing to advance the safety of consumers," the Grocery Manufacturers Association said in a statement. "GM crops are safe and have important benefits for people and our planet. They use less water and fewer pesticides, reduce crop prices by 15-30 percent and can help us feed a growing global population of 7 billion people."

Under the law, food sold through retail outlets that includes genetically engineered materials must be labeled by July 2016.

Maine and Connecticut had previously passed laws requiring labeling, but they won't be enacted until other states follow suit.

Vermont is the first state to pass a law without any such stipulation, according to mediapost.com.

In June, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service approved a label for meat and liquid egg products, which includes a claim about the absence of genetically engineered products. It was the first time that the regulatory arm allowed for a non-GMO label claim.

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