The country’s first state bill to require GMO labeling has been passed in the state of Vermont after several major food corporations actively resisted the state-by-state movement to let consumers know what they are purchasing.
The measure was approved by the Vermont House Wednesday evening, and Governor Peter Shumlin said he plans to sign the bill that would take effect July 1, 2016. Shumlin said about the vote, “I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food.” The even more thrilling aspect of this bill passage is that it makes the United States known across the globe as a nation that is beginning to take a stance against genetically modified organisms.
Environmentalists and health professionals alike are concerned about the potential negative consequences of GMO crops on the natural environment and public health. Twenty-nine other states have proposed bills this year, and Maine and Connecticut have passed laws to require GMO labeling. Unfortunately, the legislation in both states only takes effect when neighboring states also approve the requirement, which they have not.
Shap Smith, speaker of the Vermont House, says, “Every Vermonter has a right to know what is in their food. Genetically engineered foods potentially pose risks to human health and the environment. I am proud to be the first state in the nation to recognize that people deserve to know whether the food they consume is genetically modified or engineered.”
We hope the rest of the states follow Vermont’s lead and make GMO’s obsolete in the near future.
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