Washington, D.C. (May 8, 2014) – Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law today, H. 112, the GMO food labeling bill. The Vermont law is due to take effect July 1, 2016.
Cathleen Enright, Executive Vice President for Food and Agriculture for the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) issued the following statement in response:
“The biotech industry is committed to providing information about how our food is grown and fully supports the voluntary labeling of products to meet specific demands of consumers in the marketplace.
“Unfortunately, when labels are mandated to promote one product over another, as this one in Vermont, the additional cost burden is placed on the state's farmers, food manufacturers, grocers and consumers. Economic studies have shown that such a program could needlessly increase food costs on the average household by as much as $400 per year.
“Scientific bodies and regulatory officials around the world recognize that foods made from genetically modified (GM) crops are as safe as their non-GM counterparts. And these same GM crops have enabled farmers to produce more on less land with fewer pesticide applications, less water and reduced on-farm fuel use.
“State labeling laws such as the one signed into law today demonstrate that the GMO labeling discussion deserves a national solution. Such an approach has been proposed in the U.S. Congress in the form of the bipartisan Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 4432), which appropriately confirms and explicitly places the authority to require food labeling in this area with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”