Efforts are being made to overturn Vermont’s GMO labeling law

Aug 11, 2014

By Amanda Brodhagen, Farms.com

A battle between lawmakers and food manufactures in the state of Vermont is brewing over the mandatory use of labels on genetically modified food.

In May, the Vermont Legislature passed a bill requiring labels on food products containing genetically modified ingredients, which prompted legal action by the Grocery Manufactures Association, the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Foods Association, and the National Association of Manufactures.

The coalition of food manufactures and trade associations are suing the state because of the GMO food labeling initiative, which is expected to become law come July 2016. State lawmakers say that they had anticipated a possible legal challenge and set aside $1.5 million in the GMO labeling bill to cover the cost of litigation.

But before it heads to court, the state’s attorney general put in a request to the U.S. District Court for the District of Vermont to dismiss the lawsuit. According to court documents filed on August 8, the state argues “while the Plaintiffs prefer not to disclose that their products are made with genetic engineering, over 90 percent of the general public supports labeling genetically engineered foods.”

The food industry groups who had originally initiated the lawsuit will have 30 days to respond to the attorney general, William Sorrell’s, motion to dismiss. During this process the state will also have the opportunity to respond before the court makes its final decision. As part of the motion, Sorrell asked for oral arguments to be heard on the motion, which will delay legal action for at least another several months.

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