Monsanto Threatens To Sue Vermont If GMO Labeling Bill Passes

In its latest act as the world’s biggest corporate bully, Monsanto recently threatened to sue Vermont if the state dares to pass a mandatory GMO labeling law.

Backed by tremendous support from the state’s consumers and food producers, the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act (H. 722), would make Vermont the first of the United States to require labeling of genetically engineered food: a prospect biotech giant Monsanto finds terrifying. According to a 2010 poll by Reuters and National Public Radio, 93 percent of the American public wants genetically modified food to be labeled.

Although the bill is backed by representative Kate Webb, and was progressing nicely toward passage near the end of March, progress has been halted thanks to Monsanto’s threat of legal action. Alternet reports:

Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, .despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote

Instead, they’re calling for more public hearings on April 12, in the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May.

Several legislators have rather unconvincingly argued that the Vermont public has a “low appetite” for any bills, even very popular bills like this one, that might end up in court. Others expressed concern about Vermont being the first state to pass a mandatory GMO labeling bill and then having to “go it alone” against Monsanto in court.

This cautious statement doesn’t jive with the state’s long history of standing up for accurate food labeling: just last year the state’s Agency of Agriculture threatened to sue McDonald’s over due to its Fruit & Maple Oatmeal not actually containing any real natural maple syrup. And in the 1990s, Vermont led the charge against Monsanto by labeling bovine growth hormone in milk. Monsanto eventually won that lawsuit on the grounds that it had first amendment rights to “remain silent on whether or not they are injecting their cows with rBGH.”

Although it would be the first to pass a GMO labeling bill, Vermont isn’t the only state to propose such a measure. As of February, almost 20 states  were considering such legislation, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. If Vermont is brave enough to stand up to the corporate pressure, they may find other states quickly falling in step beside them, instead of hanging them out to dry.

Related Reading:

Poland Is Latest Nation To Ban Monsanto’s GMO Maize

Dow And Monsanto Join Forces To Destroy America’s Heartland

8 Reasons Not To Trust Monsanto With Your Food

Image via Thinkstock

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Dale Overall

Vermont should join other areas around the world that do not fear corporate giants and label - giving consumers the right and knowledge to refuse to buy such products. Nothing like corporate greed and intimidation which must always be fought and never given into!

Angel Campbell
Angel Campbell3 years ago

The entire world should ban monsanto.

Abbe A.
Azaima A.3 years ago


Megan S.
Megan S.3 years ago

Oh, Monsanto... the bratty, little child who throws a tantrum because it doesn't get its way. Poor thing.

Elizabeth P.
Elizabeth P.3 years ago

Try not to eat foods with GMO's Kraft, General Mills, Kellogs, Corn,Soy,Carnola oils...ect. Read the ingredients, Since the government has a partnership with these Big Bio Tech companies all for the money profits and not for people health, Why do you think Obama wonts a new health care law. Since the government has putting unlabeled GMO's in the food system the diseases in this country have gone off the carts, and new ones are sprouting out over time.But they will never tell us the truth so in the mean time our chileren will suffer and we will die before 62. We are the unhealthest country in the world, Thanks to the governments and greed. There is no need for this. Shamful.

Heidi Aubrey
Heidi Aubrey3 years ago

Its coming up for public vote in California during the June general election. If voters can get together enough petition signatures, all state have legislation that have petion initiatives. Meaning if x number of people sign a petition it must be put on the general election ballot. The voters make the laws. This is how California got rid of smoking in restaurants. I hope Vermont makes it. It would be a domino effect for the rest of the states(except the south, probably).

Thubten Chokyi
Jenny Dooley3 years ago

It seems Monsanto is intent on destroying our planet.

Mandi A.
Amanda Adams3 years ago

I wonder if the founders of Monsanto eat their own food...

Mandi A.
Amanda Adams3 years ago

Pass it already!

Donna Hamilton
Donna Hamilton3 years ago

If they are so confident of their product, why would they object to the truth being stated on a label?!