Yesterday, the House Agriculture Committee began hearing testimony on H.112, a bill that would require labels on genetically engineered food sold in retail stores in Vermont. From the start of the session it has been clear that the prospects of Vermont passing GE labeling legislation have improved from last year.
This year’s bill was introduced to the House of Representatives with tripartisan support from Democrats, Republicans and Progressives. In all, 50 of the 150 representatives signed on to sponsor this year’s legislation.
The broad support for this legislation was echoed by Speaker of the House, Shap Smith yesterday. “Vermonters want to know what’s in their food. To the extent that we can create a bill that allows them access to that information and can survive constitutional scrutiny, we’ll move it,” Smith said. “People are working hard to see if a bill can get there.”
Over the next two days, Dr. Michael Hansen, senior scientist for Consumers Union – the company that publishes Consumer Reports – will support mandatory labeling in his testimony in both the House and Senate Agriculture Committees. Hansen also has meetings scheduled with top House and Senate leaders.
A lot will be happening on this issue in the coming days and weeks. If you want to learn more, make to join us for one of the community organizing sessions taking place around the state during last week of February. Find out more details about these meetings here.