The state of Vermont decided that it would listen to the people and require foods containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) to be labeled. But with the help of the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association (GMA), Monsanto and other biotech interests launched a lawsuit against the bill that was passed. Thankfully, Vermont stood strong and is fighting back. Now, 8 states join Vermont in saying ‘no more’ to Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms.
Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, & Washington filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in NYC in support of Vermont’s GMO labeling law.
The reason Monsanto and members of the GMA are shaking in their boots? They could end up paying $10 million a day in fines for not labeling GMOs in the state. Governor Shumlin issued a no-holes barred response to their complaint, stating:
“Here’s an idea for the industry: Just label your products. All of them, nationwide. Sixty-four countries already do it. I’m sure the food industry in America could summon the moral imagination to be the 65th.”
As evidenced by the support of additional states, it is clear that US consumers are completely DONE with GMOs. That’s why we want them labeled, so we have the clear choice to refuse them. But the GMA and other knows this, which is why they’ve tried every legal and illegal tactic possible to delay the labeling of GM food.
Is your state lagging behind in GMO labeling laws? Or is your state or county trying to ban GMOs altogether as Josephine County Oregon is – now under attack with a lawsuit brought on by the biotech industry.
The industry says that Federal law takes precedence over state labeling laws, and that the lawsuit in Josephine County which has to be settled before the GMO ban can be upheld argues that a state law pre-empts the county ban, giving farmers of GMO sugar beets the option to continue growing them.
So which is it? States have the right to ban or enforce GMO labeling, or don’t they? The topic gets more convoluted weekly, but one thing is clear: consumers still say they want GM foods labeled, minimally, in poll after poll.
||Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.