The Vermont Food Fight
Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) To Sue Vermont Over GMO Labels
The fight for GMO labels in Vermont has turned into a all out food fight. H.112, the GMO labeling bill, was signed into law by Vermont’s Governor Peter Shumlin on May 8, 2014 and will take effect on July 1, 2016. On that same day the GMA announced they would sue the people of Vermont. For a summary on how the GMO labeling bill came to pass read this article written last week by Kate and Will, A Populist Victory in Vermont on GMO Labeling. The article was published on May 19 on the Farm Aid blog.
The GMA is also pushing a bill in Congress that would not only overturn every state’s right to enact a GMO labeling law, but also legalize the practice of labeling GMO foods “natural”. Vermont’s law prohibits the use of the word natural on any food that has been produced with genetic engineering.
Can you be 100% natural and genetically engineered at the same time? The GMA and gene giants think so. They say their food is ‘substantially equivalent’ exempting a label, yet they say it is ‘uniquely different’ enough to be awarded a patent. Those tired of the corporate bullying and abuse of power are calling for a boycott of the GMA and all of its members! You might be surprised to see the list of companies that are going to sue the people of Vermont over a food labeling law. We want to know what we are eating and Big Food and the Gene Giants don’t think we have that right. Learn more about the boycott..
Many legal experts and legislators agree that Vermont’s GMO labeling law is a legally sound bill that should stand up to legal scrutiny. Vermont lawmakers recognized an opportunity to lead the way when national lawmakers have failed to act. Such has been the case with many now established laws from the more recent civil unions to the first anti-slavery laws. States should feel confident to pass laws that protect the interests of its citizens, regardless of threatened corporate litigation.
Labeling food is no big deal. 64 countries around the world have already done it and so far this year, 67 GMO labeling bills have been introduced in 25 states. In a dozen states, at least one legislative committee has approved a GMO bill. Read the article: Many States Weigh GMO Labels.
The Governor has created a special Food Fight Fund to help Vermont establish its labeling law and mount a powerful defense against any lawsuits. Citizens can donate in any amount. As of last week, the fund has gathered $12,000 from 293 individuals. Learn more about the GMO labeling law in Vermont at VT Right To Know.
And so, the fight for GMO labels is not over yet. Onward we go!