Vermont’s GMO Labeling Law Declared Constitutional and Ready For Implementation

Vermont's GMO Labeling Law Declared Constitutional and Ready For Implementation

This week a U.S. District Court declared Vermont’s new GMO labeling law constitutional. The recently issued federal court decision denies a temporary injunction to block the law from implementation. GMO labeling advocates have declared victory as a result of the recent ruling, which was brought on by the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

“This important ruling affirms the constitutionality of genetically engineered food labeling, as well as the rights of Vermonters and U.S. citizens across the country,” George Kimbrell, senior attorney for Center for Food Safety and counsel in the case said in a statement. “Americans are demanding the right to know if their food is produced through genetic engineering, for health, environmental and many other reasons. This decision is a crucial step in protecting those rights.”

The law, signed on May 8, 2011, passed even with the Grocery Manufacturers Association pouring tens of millions of dollars into anti-GMO labeling efforts.

“What a victory for Vermont consumers,” Paul Burns, executive director of the Vermont Public Interest Research Group said in a statement. “From the beginning, we have said that Vermonters have substantial interests in knowing whether their food has been genetically engineered. This ruling brings us one giant step closer to that reality.”

Additionally, the Just Label It (JLI) campaign has said in response to huge financial efforts to block GMO labeling, it will start outing anti-labeling backers. JLI has long contended trusted household names in food manufacturing were secretly funding anti-GMO labeling campaigns in states with labeling initiatives, such as California, Washington, and Vermont, as well as federal labeling efforts. Now JLI has said it will formerly out companies one by one that are continuing to block efforts.

The first company JLI has targeted as part of its ‘Conceal and Reveal’ campaign is Quaker Oats, because “the brand has a strong reputation among mothers as a producer of healthy snacks and other foods” while behind closed doors it’s bankrolling anti-GMO labeling campaigns.

JLI contends such lobbying efforts go against public sentiment because some 92 percent of Americans polled say they’re in favor of GMO labeling. At the same time, $8.8 million has already been spent by Quaker Oats, whose parent company is PepsiCo, to block such efforts.

Today, 64 nations in the European Union and throughout Asia, as well as China and Russia, mandate GMO labeling. In the U.S., Vermont, Connecticut, and Maine have also passed labeling laws, and nearly 70 labeling bills in 30 states have been introduced.

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