Federal Court Greenlights Vermont GMO Labeling Law

For Immediate Release: April 28, 2015

WASHINGTON –The nation’s first law to require labeling of foods made with genetically engineered ingredients can proceed following a ruling yesterday by the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont that keeps the pioneering law on track to go into effect in July 2016.

“The decision may be a blow to the food industry, but it’s a milestone victory for the vast majority of consumers who support labeling of GMO foods,” said Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label it and chairman and co-founder of Stonyfield Farm. “As is often the case, laws that seek to improve public health, consumer protection and the environment are frequently incubated at the state level. Vermont and its citizens have set the country on a course toward a future where labeling of foods made with GMOs will one day be the law of the land.”

The food industry’s main trade and lobby groups, headed by the Grocery Manufacturers Association and the Snack Food Association, have led the fight in court against the Vermont law. Both have pledged to continue fighting in court against the people of Vermont and their right to know what’s in their food.

“It’s time to pull back the curtain on the Grocery Manufacturers Association and other industry groups and show the American people which food companies are actually bankrolling these anti-consumer efforts,” said Hirshberg. “Some of the most trusted companies in the U.S., whose products parents buy with their hard-earned money in order to feed their families, are working behind the scenes to keep people in the dark when it comes to GMOs in their food.”

This week, Hirshberg and Just Label It are launching a major initiative targeting some of the food companies that have spent millions of dollars at the state and federal level to keep laws like Vermont’s from going into effect.

“No longer we will allow companies to hide behind their trade groups,” Hirshberg said. “These companies need to decide whether they are “concealers” or “revealers” when it comes to supporting consumers’ rights to know.”

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