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Organic Consumers Association

Second Time GMA Sues for Right to Keep Secrets from You

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

On April 16, the Vermont Senate passed the first no-strings-attached GMO labeling bill (H.112) by an overwhelming margin.1 On May 8, Governor Peter Shumlin signed the historic bill into law.

The law will require food manufacturers to label genetically engineered (GE) foods sold in Vermont, and prohibits them from labeling foods with GE ingredients as "natural" or "all natural."

The Burlington Free Press2 recently ran an excellent article on how the Vermont GMO labeling bill was won. I would highly encourage you to read it, to get a real-world view of just how effective a grassroots campaign can be.

Ultimately, it boils down to letting your representatives know what you want. Long before the bill passed through the legislative branches, Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) had openly threatened to sue, should Vermont pass such a law.

Still, despite these threats, Vermont legislators realized that their constituents were serious about wanting GE foods labeled, and they voted accordingly. As expected, on May 9 the GMA confirmed it will indeed sue Vermont in federal court, in an effort to overturn H.112. According to a recent update by Ronnie Cummins,3 National Director for the Organic Consumers Association (OCA):

"Vermont is prepared to fight back. The state has already established a 'food fight' legal defense fund. Legal analysts say Vermont will likely win.

Vermont isn't the only state up against the multi-billion dollar lobbying group. The GMA, whose 300-plus members include Monsanto and Dow, Coca-Cola and General Mills, is pushing a bill in Congress that would preempt all states from passing GMO labeling laws.4 [Editor's note: The "Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,"5 dubbed "DARK" (Denying Americans the right to know) Act.]

It's time for consumers in every state to band together to defeat the GMA's full-on assault, not only on Vermont, not only on consumers' right to know what's in our food, but on states' rights and on our basic freedoms to protect our health and our communities."



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