Vermont has taken the initiative against Monsanto and other biotechnology corporations in launching new legislation that would require the labeling of products containing genetically modified ingredients. The bill, known as the ‘VT Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act’, was introduced to the Vermont House of Representatives by Representative Kate Webb of Shelburne on February 1st, 2012. The bill would require the labeling of not only products filled entirely with GMOs, but also for those partially created using GM ingredients.
Perhaps most monumental is the fact that the legislation would prohibit GMO food manufacturers from using promotional labels like “natural,” “naturally made,” “naturally grown,” “all natural,” or any words of similar import. The bill, which can be read for free online, would require strict and clear labeling on GMO-containing food items. The wording states that in the case of a raw agricultural commodity, the label ‘genetically modified’ would be clearly visible. As for processed food products, the words ‘partially produced with genetic engineering’ or ‘may be partially produced with genetic engineering’ would appear prominently on the front or back of the package.
Referred to the House Committee on Agriculture , testimony is to begin on the topic later this month.
The introduction of the legislation highlights the growing grassroots opposition against Monsanto and GMOs alike. In addition, the legislation would end phony ‘all natural’ product claims when in actuality they contain very unnatural genetically modified organisms. Just recently one consumer took legal action against major snack-maker Frito-Lay, claiming that the labeling of GMO-filled snack products as ‘all natural’ is deceptive and misleading.
VPIRG Consumer Protection Advocate Falko Schilling spoke in support of the act saying “This is a consumer right to know issue, just as we require nutritional labels on food so that shoppers can make informed choices, consumers should have the same access to information about whether their food has been genetically engineered.”
In the event this bill passes, a political awakening could occur across the nation regarding the true labeling of products filled with genetically modified ingredients.