Apr 192014
 
Vermont Lawmakers Pass Country’s First No-Strings-Attached GMO Labeling Law Organic Consumers Association, April 16, 2014 For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto and our Genetic Engineering page. FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 16, 2014 CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090 FINLAND, Minn. – Today, by a vote of 28-2, the Vermont state Senate passed H.112, a bill to require mandatory labeling of foods sold in Vermont that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The bill also makes it illegal to call any food product containing GMOs “natural” or “all natural.” Unlike bills passed last year in Maine and Connecticut, which require four or five other states to pass GMO labelling laws before they can be enacted, Vermont’s law contains no “trigger” clauses, making it the first “clean” GMO labelling law in the country. The bill now goes back to the House which is expected to agree to the Senate’s amendments, then to Gov. Peter Shumlin who is expected to sign it. Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), issued the following 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. Consumer 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 in Vermont, and to fund anti-labeling campaigns in California (2012) and Washington State (2013). Today, consumers and a number of principled legislators in Vermont made it clear to Monsanto, Coca-Cola and other opponents of consumers’ right to know: We will not back down. This movement is here to stay. We expect that Monsanto will sue the state of Vermont in order to prevent enactment of H.112. We also expect that Monsanto will lose, and the law will go into effect on schedule, on July 1, 2016. We expect that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a multi-billion lobbying group representing more than 300 food, pesticide and drug makers, will try to pass their “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,” introduced last week by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), intended to strip Vermont, and all other states, of their right to pass GMO (more…)