Today the Senate voted 26 to 2 to give preliminary approval of H.112, Vermont’s GMO labeling bill. H.112 was passed by the House last year and has received positive votes out of the Senate Agriculture, Judiciary Committees and Appropriations Committees. The Bill would require labels on genetically engineered foods (also called genetically modified organisms or GMOs) sold at retail outlets in Vermont and would go in to effect on July 1st, 2016.
“Today the Senate stood up for the vast majority of Vermonters who want to see genetically engineered foods labeled,” said VPIRG Consumer Protection Advocate Falko Schilling. “Vermont is once again leading the nation by acknowledging the important fact that everyone has a right to know what they are eating.”
“We believe this bill is firmly grounded in the law and we appreciate the legislature’s wisdom in recognizing that,” Said Laura Murphy, Associate Director of the Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic at Vermont Law School. “Among other things, this is a valid measure to help Vermonters avoid the potential health risks of genetically engineered foods and to alleviate consumer confusion regarding whether foods are genetically engineered.”
Dave Rogers, Policy Advisor for NOFA-VT commented on the vote saying, “This historic vote is the product of the excellent work done by Vermont’s Senators over many weeks and the strong support of thousands of Vermonters over the last two years.”
“This is a victory for everyone who eats,” commented Andrea Stander, Director of Rural Vermont. “It is fitting that Vermont, where we take food seriously, is on the way to becoming the first state in the U.S. to require that genetically engineered foods be labeled.”
The Senate’s third (and final) reading and vote on H.112 will be held Wednesday, April 16th. If the Senate approves, then the bill heads to the House of Representatives where they will have to decide if they concur with the Senate changes, or if the bill needs to be sent to a conference committee.
To see how each Senator voted, go to: http://www.leg.state.vt.us/database/status/rcdetail.cfm?Session=2014&RollCallID=763.