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Vermont Law Makes It Official: GMO Food Must Be Labeled

For Related Articles and More Information, Please Visit OCA's Genetic Engineering Page, Millions Against Monsanto Page and our Vermont News Page.

Vermont is being hailed as a national leader following its passage of a law requiring foods that contain genetically-modified food to be labeled, the first "no-strings-attached" legislation passed in the United States.

The bill, passed by both bodies of the state legislature, was signed into law by Governor Peter Shumlin late Wednesday.

"I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food," Shumlin said in a statement.

State Rep. Shap Smith, speaker of the Vermont House, echoed Shumlin's message, stating: "Every Vermonter has a right to know what is in their food."

"Genetically engineered foods potentially pose risks to human health and the environment," he continued. "I am proud to be the first state in the nation to recognize that people deserve to know whether the food they consume is genetically modified or engineered."

Farmers, citizens, and food safety and consumer advocates also praised the law, calling it an important moment in the fight against large agribusiness and biotech firms who have opposed labeling laws in numerous states and nationally. Though labeling gmo foods is extremely popular among the American public, so far all legislative efforts to pass such laws have been defeated.

Two other New England states-both Connecticut and Maine-have passed condition-based labeling laws, meaning they will not go into effect until a larger number of neighboring states pass similar legislation. Vermont's new law has no such restrictions.

"The people and legislators of Vermont have taken a tremendous step forward in allowing their citizens to know what is in their food. All families deserve this simple right to know," said Rebecca Spector from the Center for Food Safety which helped organize the labeling effort in the state. "We congratulate all of the activists and lawmakers in Vermont who made this victory possible."        
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