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Vermont Legislature Passes Mandatory GMO Food Labeling Law

Reuters June 16, 2014. In a 28 to 2 vote the Vermont Senate passed the Mandatory GMO Food Labeling Law. The Vermont House previously approve the bill. Vermont will be the first state to enact such a law. The law is set to take effect July 1, 2016. It specifically states that foods with genetically engineered crops “potentially pose risks to health, safety, agriculture and the environment and should be labeled.” It will be illegal to label foods “natural” or “all natural.” if they contain GMOs.

Other states had tried to pass such a measure but were beaten down by Monsanto and other GMO dealers and members of the Grocery Manufacturers Association that dumped millions into a campaign to stop the measure. The measure was narrowly defeated in California in 2012 and Washington State last year. Maine and Connecticut have passed GMO food labeling laws but have a clause that says that other states must enact the law first before their laws take effect.

Vermont expects to be sued by GMO proponents and has a set up a protection fund to pay for legal expenses.

Andrea Stander, spokesperson for Vermont Right to Know GMOs Coalition said: “This affects everyone who eats. Consumers all across the country have woken up to the fact that we’ve become an unregulated feeding experiment by the biotech industry. People want to know if their foods are made with these ingredients. This gives people a choice.”

GMO labeling is a hot button issue and bears watching over the coming months.