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After Vermont Passes GMO Labeling Law, Food Industry Announces Plans To Sue

Green Lifestyle  (tags: conservation, CoolStuff, eco-friendly, environment, food, genetic engineering, GMO labelling, greenliving, health, humans, protection, Sustainabililty )

- 1500 days ago -
As hundreds cheered, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law Thursday that puts Vermont on the path to be the first state to require labeling of genetically modified foods and promptly announced an online fundraiser to battle expected legal challenges from the-->

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Kathy B (106)
Friday May 9, 2014, 5:09 pm
As hundreds cheered, Gov. Peter Shumlin signed a law Thursday that puts Vermont on the path to be the first state to require labeling of genetically modified foods and promptly announced an online fundraiser to battle expected legal challenges from the food industry.

The Vermont law takes effect in mid-2016, but opponents said shortly after the bill signing that they would file a lawsuit. The Grocery Manufacturers’ Association said government has no compelling interest in warning consumers about GMO foods. Another obstacle to the state law looms in Congress as Republicans work on a bill that would forbid states from passing and enforcing laws requiring GMO labeling.

Critics of GMO foods consider them environmentally suspect and a possible health threat. But many in the food industry say the food is safe, the technology boosts food production, and its use is less environmentally harmful than traditional farming methods.

In signing the legislation, Shumlin asked for support Internet-wide, announcing the launch of a new website to help the state raise funds toward a court battle with agribusiness or biotech industries.

“We are asking people all across America, and all across the great state of Vermont, to go to (the website) and make a donation, so that we can win the Vermont Food Fight Fund fight not only for Vermont, but for America,” Shumlin said.

The law calls for the labeling of processed GMO foods and for retailers to post signs on displays of unpackaged genetically engineered foods. Restaurants are exempt from the requirements. It also sets a civil penalty of $1,000 per day per product for “false certification.” The entire product, not each individual item or package, would be subject to the penalty.

The Biotechnology Industry Organization was quick to criticize the new law. In a statement, the group said scientists and regulators worldwide recognize that foods made from genetically modified crops are safe. “And these same GM crops have enabled farmers to produce more on less land with fewer pesticide applications, less water and reduced on-farm fuel use,” BIO Vice President Cathleen Enright said.

In Congress, a House bill proposes voluntary labels on GMO foods. The bill would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to create the guidelines for the labels.

About 300 people gathered at the Statehouse to celebrate the new law with live music and Vermont-made Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

“I’m so proud of the state I live in,” said 11-year-old Brigid Ambrust of West Hartford, who started a letter-writing campaign to persuade legislators to pass the law. “I feel like this is a wonderful step toward a healthier world and I’m so glad Vermont is the first to take it.”

Maine and Connecticut have previously passed laws requiring labels on GMO foods, but their laws don’t take effect unless neighboring states follow suit.

Rose Becke (141)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 12:35 am
All states must follow suit

Roseann d (178)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 4:19 am
Way to go Vermont! No backing down. Instead, we must all pile on.

Arielle S (313)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 11:09 am
Of course they will sue (yawn...) But the train is gaining momentum and sooner or later, Monsanto is going to die a long, lingering death. And then many of us will dance on their grave.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 11:49 am
No surprise here, I figured they would try to sue. Those bastards! We need GMO labeling in all 50 states and our family will continue to fight against Monsanto and fight to get GMO labeling passed everywhere.

Past Member (0)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 11:50 am
Proud of Vermont to have the guts to do this and stand up for the people! Right on Vermont!!!!

Saturday May 10, 2014, 12:09 pm
Food have been screwing the public way to now...."Screw You!" Thanks Kathy for posting.

David C (129)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 12:59 pm
3 Cheers and Kudos to Vermont....please may the other 49 follow!!!

Renata B (136)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 1:21 pm
Vermont is showing the way. Next step: outlaw that c**p

Birgit W (160)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 2:07 pm
I hope Canada is going to follow Vermont, thank you.

Sheila D (28)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 2:45 pm
Congratulations to Vermont! Now we need the rest of the states to follow suit, whatever it takes.

Muriel Servaege (53)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 2:53 pm
Will the food industry never stop?

Joanne Dixon (38)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 3:03 pm
Monsanto and the GMA are behaving like addicts I guess it must be money they are addicted to. Well presumably, they will have to at least start the suit in Vermont so they can't possibly expect any news in their favor before the first or second appeal. I hope it gets drawn out long enough that we can get someone new in SCOTUS before it gets there. If not, we are doomed.

Rosa Caldwell (384)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 3:11 pm
This is sad. As a country, we seem to be sue happy.

Krista Slavin (195)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 4:34 pm
I want GMO labeling. I want to know what's in my food. I'd say I can't believe they're suing but that would be a lie. I hope Vermont holds strong.

Hartson Doak (39)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 5:17 pm
Good for Vermont. It appears they have adopted the New Hampshire State motto. They even have the nerve to close their only nuclear power plant. I would suggest the suit be heard only in State court.

SusanAWAY A (219)
Saturday May 10, 2014, 11:33 pm
Noted and shared. I think it's awesome that Vermont passed this law and can only hope that other states follow suit. Screw the food industry. They are not trustworthy in the least.

. (5)
Sunday May 11, 2014, 6:13 am

Deb E (63)
Sunday May 11, 2014, 10:11 pm
Oregon has gotten the green light for the labeling initiative, but will need a lot of volunteers to get past Monsanto's lies. People will be watching this closely. I sure hope Vermont wins this battle.

Jamie Clemons (282)
Monday May 12, 2014, 6:08 am
Counter sue them back.

reft h (66)
Tuesday May 13, 2014, 11:31 pm
it could be tied up in court for years. I hope they can carry out the law even if it proceeds through the courts.

Sergio Padilla (65)
Tuesday June 17, 2014, 1:29 pm
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