Vermont Poised to Roll Out US' Toughest GMO Rules

Governor expects battle over 'common-sense legislation'

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Apr 24, 2014 6:25 AM CDT | Updated Apr 24, 2014 8:11 AM CDT

(Newser) – Vermont's governor is set to sign a bill requiring the labeling of genetically modified food, a move that sets it apart from other states, the New York Times reports. While Connecticut and Maine have instituted similar requirements, their versions depend on state legislatures to take action first, the Wall Street Journal notes. Vermont's legislation, on the other hand, is effective July 1, 2016. "This is a historic day for the people’s right to know," says a labeling advocate. Governor Pete Shumlin expects a fight.

"There is no doubt that there are those who will work to derail this common-sense legislation," he said. "But I believe this bill is the right thing to do and will gain momentum elsewhere after our action here in Vermont." Vermont's house passed the bill 114-30 yesterday. The Times notes that about 80% of foods in grocery stores have GMO ingredients, according to the Grocery Manufacturers' Association—and since Vermont's population is just 626,000, companies wouldn't lose much revenue if they just stopped shipping to the state.

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin participates in the morning session of the National Governor's Association Winter Meeting in Washington, in this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin participates in the morning session of the National Governor's Association Winter Meeting in Washington, in this Feb. 22, 2014 file photo.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)
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