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GMA: Vermont GMO bill a step in wrong direction

The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which backs a federal bill that would preempt states from legislative efforts to require labeling of GM foods, says that a Vermont measure to mandate labeling is “a step in the wrong direction for consumers.”

“It sets the nation on a costly and misguided path toward a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling policies that will do nothing to advance the safety of consumers,” said GMA, in a statement.


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The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, of which GMA and nearly three-dozen food associations are part, also opposes state-based GMO laws.

“The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food is focused on a federal labeling solution because initiatives, such as the one in Vermont, that are based on fear and politics hurt consumers and farmers,” spokeswoman Claire Parker told SN. “We need food labeling to be based on science as determined by the FDA. The nations foremost food safety authority.”

Ronnie Cummins, national director of the Organic Association sees the advancement of the Vermont measure as a victory for consumers.

“We expect that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a multi-billion dollar lobbying group representing more than 300 food, pesticide and drug makers, will try to pass their ‘Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014,’ introduced last week by Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., intended to strip Vermont, and all other states, of their right to pass GMO labeling laws,” said Cummins, in a statement.

“And we expect that Congress will not pass this law, dubbed the DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, which seeks to deny consumers the right to know if their food has been genetically engineered, and deny states the right to enact laws designed to protect public health.”

The Vermont bill would set a precedent since unlike those passed in Maine and Connecticut, it doesn’t require any other states to pass GMO laws before it can be enacted. The bill will go back to the House, which is expected to agree to the Senate’s amendments, then to Gov. Peter Shumlin who is expected to sign it.

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