Vermont governor to sign GMO labeling bill

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Vermont Governor Pat Shumlin intends to sign legislation requiring the labeling of foods that contain ingredients that are genetically modified (GMOs) or produced with genetic engineering. The governor’s office announced via Twitter that the signing will take place Thursday, May 8. Once the bill is signed, Vermont will become the first state to require mandatory GMO labeling.

The Vermont House approved the bill as amended by the Senate by a vote of 114-30 on April 24. The proposed effective date is July 1, 2016.

It is estimated that 80% of all food sold in the United States is at least partially produced from genetic engineering. The bill would require labeling on all such food sold at retail in Vermont, regardless of whether the food was manufactured in the state. Vermont lawmakers included a $1.5 million legal defense fund in the bill because they expect the law to face legal challenges after the signing.

While the bill exempts processing aids and milk from cows that have been fed GMO feed, many dairy products and other foods that incorporate milk would be affected unless they were made with organic ingredients. 

New York GMO bill advances

The New York General Assembly’s Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection advanced a bill on Tuesday that would require the labeling of GMOs. The committee voted 9-6 to approve AB 3525 and now will send the bill to the Committee on Codes. The bill is similar to Vermont’s legislation as it would take effect without needing the surrounding states to pass labeling bills.

The New York legislation contains the same exemptions for processing aids and milk from cows that have been fed GMO feed or treated with GMO material. The bill must be approved by both the Assembly and the state Senate before the June 19 recess date and signed by the governor before it can become law.

The Food and Drug Administration, American Medical Association, World Health Organization, USDA and the National Academy of Sciences all have said that GMO ingredients are safe and there are no negative health effects associated with their use.

The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and many other trade organizations oppose individual state legislation on GMO labeling and fully support The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 introduced last month by Reps. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) and G.K. Butterfield (D-NC). This bill would preempt states from requiring mandatory labeling and establish a federal standard for voluntary labeling of food and beverage products made with GMOs.

IDFA is working with the Safe and Affordable Food Coalition, headed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, on issues related to GMO labeling.

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Jane Peters    
Indianapolis, IN.  |  May, 08, 2014 at 07:55 AM

This is good news. I hope the rest of the country follows.

Lucas Fletcher    
Vermont  |  May, 08, 2014 at 09:18 AM

Our governor is Peter Shumlin, not Pat...

idaho  |  May, 08, 2014 at 09:29 AM

To bad seems like a waste of time and money, I am sure starvation and malnutrition still kill more people that a food containing a GMO product.

Wisconsin  |  May, 08, 2014 at 11:14 AM

Take 80% of available food off of the shelves and let's see what happens to peoples opinion about GMOs'. BY the way,.. To all of you organic advocates out there. Where in the world are you going to find the 60 to 70 Million more farmers that will be needed to produce all of that food that will be needed everyday in this country?

Ohio  |  May, 08, 2014 at 01:28 PM

Right on brother! Hell with labels, stop the food trucks at the border and only let 20 % of the food in.

Craig Freitas    
Fresno, CA  |  May, 08, 2014 at 06:14 PM

Unfortunately no testing has been done on the effects of GMO's, so we may be killing everyone that eats them. When you consider that the country of BUTAN is completely Organic I hardly think people will starve. Corporate greed is behind GMO's which are not necessary to produce nutritious food in abundance.

WI  |  May, 09, 2014 at 12:23 PM

Instead of special labels for one state,maybe companies could just not sell there products in that state. It probably be cheaper for them instead of making labels for one states silly demands. If only 20% of the food were on the stores shelves they might consider changing there laws

Vermont  |  May, 09, 2014 at 01:26 PM

As John Wayne said..."life if hard, but it's harder if you're stupid". This law just made life a bit harder.

May, 09, 2014 at 10:43 PM

You dont have to remove 80 percent of the food to reove gmos from shelves. just the small portion that is corn based additive. we have so much of itvwe dont know what to do with it. so we make it in to syrup and dump it in everything from mac n cheese to plastics.... sidenote... smartphonee keyboards are awful

St. Louis, Mo.  |  May, 11, 2014 at 05:03 PM

The only way to resolve the GMO question is to do some INDEPENDENT animal studies. Sign the petition at to make our Government do exactly that!


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