Vermont's somewhat capricious GMO labeling law is set to go into effect next week and one company intends to comply with it by removing its products from store shelves. Coca-Cola is advising stores that individual cans and bottles will no longer be available to Vermont consumers, at least according to one tiny local outlet I had never heard of before today.
Coke doesn't have that decision anywhere on their site yet. The site also claims the Vermont Retail and Grocers Association estimates about 10 percent of products will be pulled from Vermont stores rather than make up a new set of labels for a few hundred thousand people who like to be arbitrary.
Gary Hirshberg, the corporate yogurt tycoon who has spent millions (Just Label It) to win against competitors using legislative fiat in a way he couldn't in the marketplace, made sure Vermont dairy cows will still be considered organic even if they eat GMO feed (they do.)
This is no surprise, since a lot of his organic milk is actually dehydrated and shipped on emissions-belching boats to the US, and he refuses to list the chemicals in his natural-flavored yogurts. Because he does not sell booze, booze is exempt. And restaurants too. Really, only poor people who just want food at a reasonable cost are being penalized in Vermont.
I'd have thought for sure Coca-Cola would cave in, like General Mills and Kelloggs. That they didn't is a big shock, especially for a large company in American corporate culture thinking which insists companies have to apologize for being in business at all.
New Hampshire stores have continued to cheer on the keen scientific decision-making of Vermont politicians, since everyone will now just cross the border to buy stuff they want. Where does Gary Hirshberg live? New Hampshire.