Legislation to require foods produced with genetic engineering be labeled in Vermont, HR 112, passed the Senate Judiciary today 5-0. The bill has already passed the State House and the Senate Agriculture Committee, but must still be considered by the Senate Appropriations Committee before a full Senate vote. Unlike other state labeling laws, Vermont’s bill would take effect regardless of action from any other state.
“This unanimous vote shows that state legislatures are responding to consumer demand to label GE foods,” said Rebecca Spector, who coordinates state GE labeling work at Center for Food Safety. “Consumers nationwide are beginning to ask questions about the growing influence of chemical companies in food production. They are demanding the information necessary to make healthful decisions about the foods they serve to their families.”
Sixty-four nations including China, South Africa, and all countries in the European Union currently require GE foods to be labeled. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has introduced federal legislation that would require nationwide labeling of GE products. That bill has 65 sponsors.
“Progress on GE food labeling in states such as Vermont shows that the tide is turning. The food movement’s power is growing,” added Spector. “GE labeling is not a matter of if but when.”