• Vermont Senate Overwhelmingly Votes for GMO Labeling

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    The Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill requiring GMO labeling, but the battle between food and biotech giants and GMO labeling advocates may just be beginning.

    Only two state senators opposed the GMO labeling bill. Although those who championed and supported the bill cheered and celebrated, some say there still may be a long road ahead and lawmakers have a unique way to defend Vermont should a lawsuit happen.

    Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, D-Windsor said:

    We are saying people have a right to know what’s in their food.

    On Tuesday, the Vermont Senate cast its votes for a bill that would require GMO labels on food products.

    Campbell and other bill supporters believe the bill is legally airtight. Nevertheless, they carved out a fund for legalities, such as if food producers who are sure to dislike the bill decide to sue.

    A vote of 26-2, however, demonstrates a great desire from the Senate and its constituents for labels bearing GMO knowledge, beginning in July 2016.

    Wednesday marks the day it goes back for a vote before going to the House, and Governor Peter Shumlin has shown signs of the likelihood of signing.

    Other states like Connecticut and Maine passed laws; but, similar to Vermont, are delaying implementing until more states join in to allow time and protection from being sued. In case you …

    Vermont spent more than $2 million defending the state's campaign finance and data mining laws and lost. Advocates are confident Vermont's fight for GMO labels resonates beyond the Green Mountains.

    “It's something that consumers all across the country are demanding and that people are interested they want to know what's in their food for a number of reasons, and this is going to give them that information,” said Falko Schilling from the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

    Shumlin has expressed support for the concept of GMO labeling, but has said before he saw some problems with the bill. If he signs, it could pave the way for other states to implement GMO labeling. Connecticut and Maine have also passed labeling laws but have delayed implementation until other states join, a tactic to avoid lawsuits of their own.

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