[public-health] GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOS) : FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: FOOD LABELING : LAW: STATE AND LOCAL : UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT: Vermonts GMO Labeling Law Is Now In Effect. Here Are The Labels The Senate Is Trying To Get Rid Of

 

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GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOS) :

FOOD DRINK NUTRITION DIET: FOOD LABELING :

LAW: STATE AND LOCAL :

UNITED STATES: STATES: VERMONT:

Vermonts GMO Labeling Law Is Now In Effect.
Here Are The Labels The Senate Is Trying To Get Rid Of

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Vermonts GMO Labeling Law Is Now In Effect.
Here Are The Labels The Senate Is Trying To Get Rid Of

July 1, 2016

By Chris Morran

Consumerist

https://consumerist.com/2016/07/01/vermonts-gmo-labeling-law-
is-now-in-effect-here-are-the-labels-senate-is-trying-to-get-rid-of/

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/za5hmwb

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Its July 1, 2016, which means that Vermonts controversial rules for labeling certain products containing genetically modified ingredients (GMOs) is now in effect. With both the supermarket industry and agribusiness-backed Senators trying to defeat this law in court and on Capitol Hill, we took a field trip to Vermont this morning to see just what the labels look like in the real world.

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The final rule [PDF] requires labels on or near various types of packaged and unpackaged foods. It does, however, provide manufacturers with what is effectively a few months grace period, as any packaged, processed foods currently without the label will  until the end of the year  be presumed to have been produced before the July 1 deadline. So if a Vermont shopper sees a bag of potato chips in December that doesnt have the label, the producer of those chips would not be in violation of the law.

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That said, we did find a number of products on store shelves that are already in compliance with the rules.

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There were, as we expected, products from companies like PepsiCos Frito-Lay group that began making this change on a nationwide basis a couple of months in advance of the July 1 deadline.

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Another company that made the nationwide change earlier this year is Campbell Soup, so we were not surprised to see some labeled Spaghetti-Os. Likewise, General Mills jumped on the labeling wagon months ago, so its Progresso soups are already labeled.

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snip

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As mentioned above, the Vermont rule is under attack on both the legal and legislative fronts. Its been two years since a grocery industry trade group sued to stop the labeling law from being enacted, yet the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has yet to issue a decision on the matter, even though it heard oral arguments nearly eight months ago.

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More recently, theres been a bipartisan effort  led by two senators who have received a total of more than $2.1 million from agribusiness donors in just this election cycle  to push through new legislation that would:

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Override the Vermont law and any other state rules on GMO labeling.

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Eventually  in at least two years; likely more  create a national standard for labeling that states could not attempt to make more strict at the local level.

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Create a standard that would not require any disclosure on the affected products. Instead, the disclosure could be nothing more than a barcode, text website link, or phone number.

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Much like the earlier, failed so-called DARK Act, which would have created a voluntary labeling national labeling standard, this newest piece of legislation was able to skip much of the usual legislative red tape by having Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell present it [PDF] as an amendment to an earlier Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood (a bill that was originally intended to reauthorize the National Sea Grant College program). The amendment wiped out all the existing text of the previous legislation, including the DARK Act text, leaving only the new GMO labeling bill.

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The new legislation sailed through its first major procedural test earlier this week, on a vote of 69-28. After the July 4th holiday, its expected that the Senate will take a cloture vote on whether to end debate on the bill; 60 votes would be needed for it to then move on for one final Senate vote.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
David Dillard
Temple University
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