Vermont Passes Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill with No Strings Attached

Vermont Passes Mandatory GMO Labeling Bill with No Strings Attached

Vermont is poised to become the first U.S.

state to legislate mandatory labeling on foods containing genetically modified

ingredients after a bill passed through both Vermont House of Representatives

and Vermont Senate, reports Reuters.

The Senate passed the bill (H.112) by a 28-2

vote, and the House of Representatives approved it yesterday in a 114-30 vote.

Its next stop is the governor’s desk, where it’s expected to be signed into

law. It would take effect on July 1, 2016.

The bill would not only require labeling on

any foods that contain genetically modified ingredients, but it would also

prevent those foods from being labeled as “natural” or any variation of the

term. “Natural” claims have come under scrutiny lately, landing several major

food brands with class action lawsuits for using that term to describe products

that include GMOs.

Read more about GMO foods

Vermont’s bill would not be the first GMO

labeling bill passed in the U.S. – Maine and Connecticut recently passed GMO

labeling bills too-but it would be the first without trigger clauses. In the

cases of Maine and Connecticut, other states must pass similar GMO labeling laws

before theirs would go into effect.

“Vermont’s leading the nation on this,

giving consumers basic information about the food that they are eating,”

said Falko Schilling, a spokesman for the Vermont Public Interest Research

Group. “This is a model that the rest of the country can look to moving

forward.”

According to Reuters, Vermont’s effort comes

as “the developers of genetically modified crops and the $360 billion U.S.

packaged food industry push for passage of a bill in Congress that would

nullify any state law to require labeling of foods made with such crops.”

Read more about GMO labeling

Image: Jaro Lamos

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Jill Ettinger is a freelance journalist and marketing specialist primarily focused on the organic and natural industries, she bridges her love for changing the food system with her lifelong passion for writing and connecting people in their shared values. You can connect with Jill on Twitter and Instagram.