GMO Food Labeling Law Passes Vermont Senate: National Movement Exposes Monsanto, DuPont's "Natural" Food Products
On April 16, the Vermont Senate passed H.112, a follow-up bill to a similar bill first passed in 2013. H.112 sets the legal requirement that all GMO food products marketed in Vermont have to be labeled as such by July 1, 2016. The bill is now set to be reviewed by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin for final approval.
If Governor Shumlin approves the bill, the repercussions will not be limited to Vermont. After 20 long years, activists who have been fighting Monsanto and other agribusiness companies that "deceptively" market genetically engineered food products will be forced to be transparent with their business. Many companies that sell GMO food products have been involved in the practice of labeling their GMO products as "natural" food items.
H.112 may be a law that is limited to the state of Vermont but once its provisions take effect, all companies that sell their products in Vermont will be forced to admit and clean up their attempts of concealing the reality that their products are actually GMOs. Even if the labels will only be used in Vermont, information about their GMO labeled products will easily reach other states and influence public opinion. Before, they got away with the practice by simply labeling these products as "natural" or "all natural." The impending law will likely expose these practices. GMO products are unpopular among consumers and many even deliberately check the labels to avoid them.
In the European Union, mandatory labeling was started as far back as 1997. It is worth pointing out that this mandatory labeling drove a large fraction of GMO products out of their market except for imported grains such as soy, corn, and canola. These imported grains are not used for human consumption but as animal feeds.
The bill is a big threat to Monsanto and other companies that sell GMOs such as BASF, DuPont, BASF, and Syngenta. Even in other states, efforts for mandatory labeling are already gathering steam. In Oregon, for instance, it is reported that voters will probably be passing a ballot initiative on Nov. 4 of this year.