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The State of Vermont Arm Wrestles the GMO Cartel – the Biggest Showdown in U.S. Food History

Touch the Soil News #116 –– includes 1 video

 

Over the last 20 years, the GMO cartel has scored success after success in controlling seeds, promoting chemical agriculture through plants resistant to pesticides, high level lobbying in Congress, the USDA and the FDA and spending millions to block state referendums to have foods labeled that contain GMO crops.

In the process of getting their way, the Monsanto Corporation – the lead organization in creating GMO agriculture – has become popularly labeled as the most hated corporation in the world.

Over the last three years, several key states have initiated referendums to label foods containing GMOs only to be marginally defeated – and in some cases questionable ballot countings. Most noticeable were the states of California and Oregon.

However, Monsanto and associates were not successful in Vermont. On April 16, 2014, after passing the Vermont House of Representatives, the Vermont Senate in a majority vote of 28 to 2 passed the first law in the nation enacting mandatory labeling of foods made with GMO crops. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed the law into effect on May 8, 2014. The Labeling of foods containing GMO crops becomes effective on July 1, 2016.

Within a few days from today, the countdown will begin and grocery stores and food manufacturers have only 12 months left to get the foods on Vermont shelves labeled.

Just a little over 30 days after passing the historic legislation, the State of Vermont was slapped with a lawsuit from a consortium including the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of Manufacturers. Together these associations represent hundreds of food and beverage manufacturers as well as pesticide and pharmaceutical companies.

In a statement on the lawsuit, the GMA called the law “a costly and misguided measure that will set the nation on path toward a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling policies that do nothing to advance the health and safety of consumers.”

The problem with the lawsuit against Vermont is that 93 percent of Americans favor labeling foods that contain GMO crops – a majority of which are women. The GMA and its suing partners are essentially pitting the food industry against the wishes of the American public.

On June 18, 2015, in a headline story from the Farm Journal, the Grocery Manufactures Association (GMA) sent a letter to Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin complaining about the cost of fines if food companies missed a label or two come next July 1, 2016. The GMA said that more than 100,000 different items are sold in the state that would require Vermont-specific labeling.

Vermont Governor Pete Shumlin is at the forefront of attacks from U.S. food manufacturers

In response to the GMA letter, Vermont Governor Shumlin sent the following message to the GMA:

“Just label your products – all of them nationwide. Labeling foods with GMOs – which can include food made form seeds that were originally engineered in laboratories to have certain traits, like resistance to herbicides – is already required in 64 countries. Plain and simple, Vermont’s law is about giving consumers the right to know what is in their food. For too long, consumers in America have been denied the right.”

It seems that Vermont Governor Shumlin summed it up for the majority of Americans that want foods containing GMOs labeled.

The Vermont Food Fight Fund was established by the Vermont Legislature in April 2014 as a special fund to support the State’s implementation and administration of its first-in-the-nation clear Genetically Engineered food labeling law, including in litigation anticipated to be filed against it.

Donations to The Food Fight Fund will help Vermont establish its labeling law and mount a powerful defense against any lawsuits. To learn more about the Fund or how you can contribute, please visit: www.foodfightfundvt.org

Uploaded here is a short video as Vermont Governor Shumlin kicks off a rally to raise funds to fight the nation’s food manufactures and underlying interests.

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