We’ve got to start somewhere and why not start in Vermont? Start labeling GMOs, that is. A new federal bill, the Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know-Act, was introduced by Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR). The bill mandates the labeling of GMOs and this one might actually pass in Vermont.
RT.com reported on this issue as the bill passed through the state house last week. The report stated that more than 90 percent of Americans want GMO products labeled. Senator Boxer presented these numbers. RT.com also followed that up by reminding us that right now the Food and Drug Administration still does not consider a GMO to be “materially” different. This means the products cannot be tasted, smelled, or identified. Because of this, the FDA does not require labeling. More than 60 countries in Europe require such labeling; maybe soon, this will change in the United States.
In the past all attempts at getting this type of law passed have been squashed by giant biotech companies, like Monsanto. Whether it’s been huge lawsuits filed or major expenses on ads, Big Food has managed to keep labeling off of our groceries. Vermont may be the first to get passed these biotech bullies.
While the bill isn’t perfect, it’s a start. The report stated that the Vermont legislation may have been watered down as a means to keep the biotech companies off their backs. So, this first bill does not include the labeling of meat, milk, or eggs from animals fed or treated with GMO products. This can include GMO corn and even the rBGH cattle hormone. These products comprise a huge amount of the food we eat that are impacted by GMOs, but if we have to take baby steps in this fight, so be it. More than 70 percent of the groceries in our stores contain GMOs, we have to start somewhere.
If Vermont soldiers through and signs this bill into law, it may be two years before the requirements will be law. Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s the biggest step in the right direction we’ve got going right now. Many believe the bill will be signed. As RT.com reported, the house supports the act with a 107-37 margin. Hopefully, Vermont sets the tone of the country and we’ll be seeing labels on our food very soon.
May 23rd, 2013