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Organic Consumers Statement on Senate Move to Overturn Vermont GMO Labeling Law

Bill Would Deny Consumers Clear, On-Package Labeling of GMOs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2016     
CONTACT: Organic Consumers Association, Katherine Paul, 207.653.3090

FINLAND, Minn. The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) today issued this statement concerning an agreement reached by U.S. Senate leaders on a bill to preempt Vermont’s GMO labeling bill.

“Today, Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) reached a deal that tramples on the rights of consumers, and the rights of states like Vermont to protect their own citizens. Instead, the Senate appears poised to  pass a bill clearly intended to serve the interests of Monsanto and the Grocery Manufacturers Association,” said Ronnie Cummins, international director of OCA.

“The anti-consumer bill unveiled by Stabenow and Roberts, bought and paid for by Big Food corporations, nullifies Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law, and replaces it with a law that replaces the requirement for clear, on package labels, with a convoluted, inconvenient and discriminatory scheme involving barcodes and 1-800 numbers.

“The proposed bill also gives food corporations another two years before they are even required to pretend to provide consumers with any information at all about the GMO ingredients in their products. Stabenow and Roberts are determined to preempt Vermont’s law, even though major food corporations such as General Mills, Campbell’s, Pepsi, Frito-Lay, Mars, Kellogg’s, ConAgra are already labeling, to comply with Vermont’s July 1 deadline for labeling.

“This pandering to industry is inexcusable, especially when consumers in 64 other countries have the right to know whether or not their food contains GMOs. We will enlist our more than two million supporters to help us keep this bill from getting the required 60 votes in the Senate, and if we have to, we will take this battle all the way to the oval office, and if necessary, launch a national boycott of all foods that are not organic, grass-fed or labeled non-GMO.”

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization advocating on behalf of more than one million consumers for health, justice, and sustainability. The Organic Consumers Fund is a 501(c)4 allied organization of the Organic Consumers Association, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action.