MONTPELIER, Vt. – State lawmakers in Vermont recently passed a bill that would require labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms. The bill also outlaws foods with GMOs to be labeled “all natural” or “natural”.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has said he would sign the bill which will go into effect July 1, 2016. The bill, HB 112, also contains a legal defense fund in anticipation of legal challenge from the food industry which has opposed labeling GMOs.
In a statement, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) called the bill “critically flawed and not in the best interests of consumers.” GMA led a coalition of food-industry interests that advocates voluntary labeling standards.
“The FDA, World Health Organization, American Medical Association and US National Academy of Science have all found that foods and beverages that contain GM ingredients are safe and materially no different than conventionally produced products,” GMA noted. “Consumers who prefer to avoid GM ingredients have the option to choose from an array of products already in the marketplace labeled ‘certified organic.’ The government therefore has no compelling interest in warning consumers about foods containing GM ingredients, making HB 112’s legality suspect at best.”