April 23, 2014
Consumers Union Statment on Vermont GMO Labeling Bill
Jean Halloran, Director of Food Policy Initiatives at Consumers Union, the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports, on today’s victory in Vermont on GMO labeling:
We congratulate the Vermont legislature on its passage of a law to require labeling of genetically engineered food sold in the state and we commend Governor Shumlin for stating that he will sign the bill. Consumers Union testified numerous times in hearings in Vermont in favor of the bill and is supporting bills across the country that would label GMOs.
Vermont has broken new ground by passing a bill with no strings attached, no conditions to be met, before it goes into effect in 2016. This is a historic day for consumers right to know.
Consumers Union especially commends Vermont for having the courage to stand up to corporate bullying, including threats of suits and other legal action from the large biotech companies and food retailers. If Vermont is sued, we intend to use all the resources at our disposal to support Vermont in its groundbreaking effort.
Foods are already required to be labeled if they are frozen, irradiated, pasteurized, contain additives, or come from concentrate. Vermont should not have to spend millions of dollars defending itself in court because they have said food should also be labeled if it is genetically engineered.
We urge the food industry to drop its legal war against consumers’ right to know and instead begin listening to its consumers on this issue. We urge companies to offer not just the foods that are most convenient to grow or process, but the foods consumers really want, fully labeled.
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Naomi Starkman, Food Policy Media Consultant