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Organic Consumers Association

States Advance GMO Labeling Bills

  • By Organic Consumers Association staff
    April 30, 2014

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Millions Against Monsanto page and our Genetic Engineering page.

Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin is set to sign the nation’s first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill one week from today, May 8, 2014.

Vermonters are thrilled. But so are the rest of us, from coast to coast. Why? For one, the passage of Vermont H.112 paves the way for other states, especially those where GMO labeling bills are in play, to follow suit.

But that’s not the only reason Vermont is a win for all of us. Once food manufacturers have to label GMO-contaminated foods in Vermont, they’ll likely reformulate their products to be GMO-free (just as they’ve done in other countries), knowing that Vermonters don’t want products that say “Contains genetically modified organisms.”

We expect industry will get behind the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act—a bill they’re pushing in Congress that would preempt Vermont’s new law. And they’ll probably sue the state of Vermont, though they know they can’t win.

But the momentum is clearly on our—your—side. Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO labeling laws, but with trigger clauses requiring multiple other states to pass labeling requirements before their own go into effect. Meanwhile Arizona, Colorado and Oregon have ballot initiatives in play, and Massachusetts, New York, California and others are advancing bills.

It’s only a matter of time.

State updates

Arizona
has until July 3 to collect 172,809 valid signatures to put a GMO labeling initiative on the November ballot.

California: SB 1381, has moved on to the Appropriations Committee with a possible hearing date of May 12th. Learn more about California. 

Colorado is in the process of gathering the 80,000 signatures required for a state ballot initiative to label GMOs.

Massachusetts: H.3996 is working its way through the committee process and is only a couple steps before a full vote. Learn more about the work in Massachusetts.

Minnesota has legislation pending, but we won’t likely see movement there until next year. Learn more about Minnesota.

New York: GMO labeling legislation could face a vote before the session adjourns on June 19th. The passage in New York is especially exciting because it would mean meeting the population trigger for laws in Connecticut and Maine to go into effect. Learn more about New York.

Oregon: Expects sometime this month to begin gathering signatures for a statewide GMO labeling ballot initiative. Learn more about Oregon.

Learn about what’s happening in all of these states:
http://citizensforgmolabeling.org
http://righttoknow-gmo.org

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