It ain’t over yet. But you can score one for Vermont consumers and pro-labeling advocates all over the country.
On Monday (April 27), a federal judge in Vermont struck a major blow to the junk food and gene giant industries by signaling that Vermont has a constitutional right to require labels on foods produced with genetic engineering.
The judge’s 84-page ruling scuttled Monsanto’s plan to stall Vermont’s GMO labeling law, and instead paved the way for Vermont to finalize its rules for the country’s first statewide bill to require mandatory labeling of GMOs, effective July 1, 2016.
That’s great news for consumers in Vermont. It also bodes well for consumers in other states, including Maine, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which are in the process of moving GMO labeling bills through their legislatures.
Today (April 30, 2015), hundreds of people are expected to turn out for a public hearing in Augusta, Maine, on two bills: LD 783, a Right to Food Bill; and LD 991, a bill that would speed up enactment of Maine’s existing GMO labeling law by removing the stipulation that four additional and contiguous states must also pass GMO labeling laws before Maine’s law can take effect.
One of the arguments against LD 991 being bandied about in the halls of the Maine State House? “We can’t pass LD 991 because it might be unconstitutional.” Thanks to the timely ruling in Vermont, that debate should be over.