Last Wednesday, Vermont became the first state to pass a GMO labeling law with “any real teeth” as Take Part’s Willie Blackmore puts it. Gov. Peter Shumlin promises to sign the bill into law, and it will go into effect July 1, 2016. This is a huge victory for those of us who believe that we have the right to know what is our food! Reports and speculations abound about impending legal action from the “other side.” Stephanie Strom quotes Gov. Shumlin in the New York Times:
There is no doubt that there are those who will work to derail this common-sense legislation,” he said in a statement. “But I believe this bill is the right thing to do and will gain momentum elsewhere after our action here in Vermont.” He had earlier predicted that opponents of labeling would immediately take the state to court over the law.
And who might those opponents be? Our “friends” who brought us the DARK Act, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), and the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Annie Gasparro and Jacob Bunge give an account of BIO’s viewpoint in their Wall Street Journal piece:
Labeling foods containing genetically modified ingredients will require farmers, food manufacturers, distributors and grocers to spend more on record keeping and compliance, said Karen Batra, a spokeswoman for Biotechnology Industry Organization, a Washington-based trade group that represents seed makers and other biotech companies.
We know that GMA and BIO are using consumer wallet scare tactics to try to push their agendas (read more below). The Wall Street Journal article gives a good history and background on the law, as well as a balanced account through opinions of the pro-GMO-labeling Center for Food Safety and the GMA. The CFS piece gives more biased, and informed, take.
Vermont to Enact GMO Food-Labeling Law via Wall Street Journal
Vermont Set to be First State to Enact Statewide GE Food Labeling via Center for Food Safety