A Matter of Time
Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin is set to sign the nation’s first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill on May 8, 2014. Vermonters are thrilled. But so are the rest of us, from coast to coast. Why? For one, the passage of Vermont H.112 paves the way for other states, especially those where GMO labeling bills are in play, to follow suit.
But that’s not the only reason Vermont is a win for all of us. Once food manufacturers have to label GMO-contaminated foods in Vermont, they’ll likely reformulate their products to be GMO-free (just as they’ve done in other countries), knowing that Vermonters don’t want products that say “Contains genetically modified organisms.”
We expect industry will get behind the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act—a bill they’re pushing in Congress that would preempt Vermont’s new law. And they’ll probably sue the state of Vermont, though they know they can’t win.
But the momentum is clearly on our—your—side. Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO labeling laws, but with trigger clauses requiring multiple other states to pass labeling requirements before their own go into effect. Meanwhile Arizona, Colorado and Oregon have ballot initiatives in play, and New York, Massachusetts, California and others are advancing bills.
It’s only a matter of time.