As one of only a few states that have passed laws requiring the labeling of genetically engineered (GMO) foods or ingredients, Vermont is feeling its way carefully. Although the state originally set a deadline of January 29 for receipt of written public comments, it has now extended that deadline to February 12. In addition, there will be a public hearing on February 4.
The labeling law is due to take effect July 1, 2016, if suits by some trade associations to block it do not succeed.
In fact, according to a recent report in the Burlington Free Press, federal judge Christina Reiss is weighing whether or not to stop implementation of the labeling law. She has not said when she will rule on it.
As anyone who has followed ACSH s stance on this issue knows, we are firmly against mandatory labeling of GMO foods or ingredients, said ACSH s Dr. Ruth Kava. The science has demonstrated over and over again that such foods are essentially the same as their conventional counterparts, she continued. Furthermore, any food producer can voluntarily label their foods with a label that states that no GMO ingredients are in their product. The only group that will benefit from such laws is the organic foods industry, which is likely behind these pro-labeling groups.
For scientifically sound information on GMOs and agriculture, see ACSH s publication Food and You, available here.