Monday, June 16, 2014

Vermont's Landmark GMO Labeling Law Target Of Lawsuit By Food Trade Groups

Vermont's Landmark GMO Labeling Law Target Of Lawsuit By Food Trade Groups

"A group of four national trade organizations sued the state of Vermont over its new law requiring labels on foods with genetically modified ingredients, scheduled to go into effect in July 2016. They claim the requirement is unconstitutional.

Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Snack Food Association (SFA), International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) say that food made with genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are safe and do not need to be specially labeled. The Vermont legislature passed the bill in April, and Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) signed it into law at the beginning of May.

"I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food. The Legislature has spoken loud and clear through its passage of this bill," he said in a statement after the bill passed.

Legislators knew that major food companies like Monsanto Co. and DuPont Co - the leading producers of GMO crops - were likely to challenge the law in courts. Attorney General William Sorrell said he advised lawmakers while they deliberated the bill that it would invite a lawsuit from affected companies, "and it would be a heck of a fight, but we would zealously defend the law," he noted Thursday, according to the Burlington Free Press.

To defend the legislation, Vermont allocated a $1.5 million legal defense fund in the measure, to be paid for with settlements won by the state. However, even this amount might not be enough to cover the state’s legal bills.

The trade groups involved in the lawsuit called the labeling requirement “a costly and misguided measure that will set the nation on a path toward a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling policies that do nothing to advance the health and safety of consumers,” GMA said in a statement."

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Amazing that the previous entry concerned the case of a farmer exercising his right of free speech with Monsanto doing all in its power to stop that free speech. Now they along with the GMA use free speech as their excuse to continue hiding the true effects of genetic modification of our seeds and the effects of Glyphosate on our health.

Bottomline, consumers have the right to know what they are eating. There is no substantial equivalence between GMOs and conventional seeds. Substantial equivalence is a legal term that has not one longterm test done on humans proving GMOs are safe to back it up. Also, Vermont's law is important because it is the first GMO labeling law without the trigger mechanism included as in the Maine and Connecticut law which requires border states to pass laws before their laws become enforceable.

Make no mistake, this is not about safety, health or science to these huge corporations. This is about money. But again, if GMOs are so "safe" why not label them to allow people to decide for themselves whether they wish to consume them? If there is no difference in them why are they even being used? Surely, if safety can be proven there is no need to worry about losing profit.

These companies are running scared because their deception is being challenged. This is a decision voted on by a state legislature in accordance with the will of the people of the state of Vermont. How totally fascist of them to seek to reverse it. This time they must not win. This time we must not see money and influence win out over common sense and democracy. Vermont is standing up to fight this attack on our right to disclosure and we all must join them!

We have the right to know what we and our children are eating. We have the right to label foods. We have the right to NOT be science experiments. We have the right to NOT wish to be poisoned to death. We have the right to NOT see our children come down with allergies and other illnesses. We have the right to expect the precautionary principle to be respected. Our Earth and our children are worth fighting for-and we will fight.

Food Fight Fund

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