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GMO Labeling Bill Introduced in Vermont. AGAIN.

Health & Wellness  (tags: government, ethics, elections, food, diet, health, prevention, protection, research, risks, safety, science, society, warning, nutrition, humans )

- 1933 days ago -
For the third time in the last three years a bill (H.112) to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs) has been introduced in the Vermont legislature.

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JL A (281)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 8:44 am
GMO Labeling Bill Introduced in Vermont. AGAIN.

By Vermont Right to Know Coalition
February 6, 2013

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Genetic Engineering page, Millions Against Monsanto page and our Vermont News page.

For the third time in the last three years a bill (H.112) to label genetically engineered foods (GMOs) has been introduced in the Vermont legislature. Last year a similar bill was passed out of the House Agriculture Committee late in the session with a strong 9 to 1 vote. It was then sent to the Judiciary committee. At about the same time, the Governor indicated in a press conference that he thought the bill would be defeated in court. In the face of public reluctance by the Governor and with time running out in the session, the bill was not taken up by the Judiciary Committee before the legislative session ended in early May.

This year, Rep. Kate Webb, the lead sponsor of the bill last year, has introduced this year's bill with tri-partisan support from 50 co-sponsors, including Democrats, Progressives, Republicans, and the Chair of the Agriculture committee, Carolyn Partridge. This show of support represents 1/3 of the members of the VT House. The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have already scheduled Michael Hansen, PhD, Senior Scientist from Consumer's Union as their first witness to testify this week.

At the same time that the bill is being introduced in the House, Sen. David Zuckerman, Vice-Chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee will submit a bill for consideration by the Senate this week. Hopefully, major lobbying and grassroots efforts will speed up the process in the short legislative session (Vermont's legislature only meets from January through April or early May).

This year the Vermont Right to Know GMOs coalition (NOFA, Rural Vermont, VPIRG, & Cedar Circle Farm) has been enhanced by the addition of the Vermont Environmental & Natural Resources Law Clinic which is affiliated with the Vermont Law School. The clinic has written legal memos explaining how a GMO labeling bill would be different from the hormone legislation passed in the 1990s (see below), and would be defensible under the US Constitution.

The Vermont Right to Know coalition, with the help of the Law Clinic, began speaking with state officials on these issues in the fall. We are confident that the state will pass a strong law.

In 1994, Vermont was the first state in the U.S. to pass a law requiring labeling of milk from cows that had been injected with rBST, a genetically modified growth hormone. A suit was brought against the bill and the state defended the bill claiming that there was "a strong consumer interest." In 1996, the Second Circuit Court found that "consumer curiosity" was not sufficient and struck the law under the First Amendment. More than 90% of Vermonters polled in 2012 wanted labeling of GMO foods and the current bill is grounded in the State's interest in human health, environmental protection and preventing consumer deception. There is a growing state, national and international concern over dangerous health and environmental effects of genetically modified food. And, there is a growing body of scientific evidence that supports these concerns. The state is legally responsible for protecting the health and safety, the environment, and the economy of its citizens. With respect to genetically modified food, the state needs to take responsibility for labeling potentially dangerous products.

Following the discouraging loss of Proposition 37 in California, Vermont activists and the general public are more eager than ever to get the legislature to enact GMO labeling requirements in Vermont. But we need your help to fight Monsanto and its allies in the industrialized food system. We depend on your responses to our e-mail blasts, your letter writing, your e-mails, your phone calls, and your participation in labeling rallies. Let your government leaders know why you are concerned about genetically modified foods, and why you want labeling.

Millions of dollars were spent in the effort to defeat the labeling initiative in California. We can expect Monsanto and its allies to invest considerable resources fighting the legislation proposed in Vermont as well. While the labeling effort will not be as costly as California, where the opponents of GMO labeling spent forty-six million dollars, it won't be cheap. We need financial help to promote the effort, and we will need legal defense donations when we win. Even though it is the state's responsibility to protect our health and safety, and the environment, battling Monsanto and its allies in court will be expensive for Vermont, and the Vermont coalition needs your help. We can be the first state to challenge the industrial food system by exposing the truth about GMO foods.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 9:53 am
Let's hope the third time is the charm for Vermont - Hawaii has now passed a labeling law but it only affects products imported into the state. Still, it is a start and if Vermont follows, the other states will fall like dominos!

Sara Williams (8)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 11:16 am
Hopefully they pass it! And show my fellow Californians who stupidly voted against it that it can be done and should be done!

JL A (281)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 11:31 am
You cannot currently send a star to Arielle because you have done so within the last week.
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Angelika R (143)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 12:42 pm
Sending my wishes for BEST OF LUCK!! Amazing that of all states VERMONT needs 3 votes!-?
@ Sara- I don't think your fellow Californians "stupidly voted against"- I am sure the majority wanted and still wants it but there was certainly some type of manipulation!
JL's other posts might shed a light on this...

JL A (281)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 2:47 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last week.

Julie P (154)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 6:09 pm
The citizens of Vermont are making some excellent long term decisions. In addition to addressing the GMO issue, treehugger reported the following statement from Governor Shumlin in May 2012, related to their fracking ban:

"In the coming generation or two, "drinking water will be more valuable than oil or natural gas," Shumlin said. "Human beings survived for thousands and thousands of years without oil and natural gas," he said. "We have never known humanity or life on this planet to survive without clean water.""

Trish K (93)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 6:29 pm
I ate 3 Kashi bars in one week. I got sick after the first one , but I thought it must have been something else.
I have a liver disease, so after the 3 rd Kashi bar on the third day I was in bed sick. I have to report this to my doctors now and tell them I think because they don't properly label their products, I was unknowingly made ill and could have died if I ate more than I did because of the poisons in the GMO's. I believe my doctors are supposed to report any illness from food so it can be investigated. I got my Boycott cards in the mail and there was Kashi. Now I know I am on the right trail. I will never eat processed food again. Thanks JLA.

JL A (281)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 6:45 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Trish because you have done so within the last week.

DaleLovesOttawa O (198)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 7:07 pm
So revolutionary! What a novel idea...informed consumers! Wow, so earth shattering that I am holding on for dear life. The earth is shaking and Monsanto is slowly disappearing into the deep dank dark abyss from where it crawled and slithered out of. Let us all help hurry its permanent disappearance from across the globe.

JL A (281)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 7:11 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Dale because you have done so within the last week.

Christina G (11)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 9:49 pm
they never give up those bad corporations is their efforts to screw the people! Shame on them!

John B (185)
Saturday February 9, 2013, 10:23 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. Kudos to State Rep. Kate Webb for reintroducing the Bill in the Vermont House and to State Sen. David Zuckerman for introducing the Bill in the Senate. Read and noted.

Past Member (0)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 5:15 am
There needs to be a bill for labeling. But I would like to see them banned. They are not healthy. Thanks JL

JL A (281)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 2:37 pm
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greenplanet e (155)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 5:58 pm
Go GMO labelling.

JL A (281)
Sunday February 10, 2013, 6:05 pm
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Jim P (3257)
Tuesday February 12, 2013, 8:46 am
Monsanto spent millions of dollars, lying all the way, to defeat proposition 37.
There were some questions about the number of votes not counted...

Organic Consumers Association is an excellent organization. Join it and it is free.
Donate what you can to help the State of Vermont.

We need to get labeling on food products now. Our health depends upon it.

Ty, JL.

Shirley B (5)
Friday February 15, 2013, 4:39 pm
So sorry that you were the victim of Kashi, Trish. It is well known they use GMO's but still sell their gruel as natural. It would surprise you that we have been eating this trash in every processed food. Even homemade is suspect as the flours and meals we buy to make our own recipes have been GMO'd so that many who may,as you , have a serious condition, cannot even rely on home cooking. We have to stop them from killing us, or at the very least make us so sick that we can't fight back!

JL A (281)
Friday February 15, 2013, 5:07 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Shirley because you have done so within the last week.
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