Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter Share on Facebook 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Fark! Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend (1 Shares)  
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Stats   2 comments

General News

Food Lobby Colossus Sues Vermont over GMO 'Right to Know'

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

News 1   Valuable 1  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H2 6/13/14

by Jon Queally

Powerful lobbyist groups claim 'free speech' as they file suit against law that says consumers should know what's in their food


protesters at anti-GMO March Against Monsanto 2014
(image by rob kall)


Vermont's Attorney General William Sorrellon has said his office is ready for a "heck of a fight" after some of the most powerful members of the nation's food industry filed suit on Thursday challenging the state's new law that requires the labeling of packaged food containing genetically modified (GMO) ingredients.

"Every U.S. citizen should be concerned when a multi-billion dollar corporate lobbying group sues in federal court to overturn a state's right to govern for the health and safety of its citizens." --Ronnie Cummins, OCA

Though not unexpected, the official filing of the federal lawsuit(pdf) against Vermont--brought by Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of Manufacturers--marks the beginning of a legal battle that could have far-reaching implications in the national fight over GMO food.

Vermont's new GMO labeling mandate, passed by the state legislature in April and signed into law by Gov. Peter Shumlin in May, is the first of its kind in the nation and requires labeling of most products containing genetically-altered ingredients by 2016.

"The people of Vermont have said loud and clear they have a right to know what is in their food," said Falko Schilling, a consumer protection advocate with the Vermont Public Interest Research Group.

Despite the public's widespread support for the law, the food industry lobbyists are challenging the labeling requirement on free speech grounds.

"Act 120 imposes burdensome new speech requirements -- and restrictions -- that will affect, by Vermont's count, eight out of every ten foods at the grocery store," said the GMA in a statement on Thursday.

But Ronnie Cummins, executive director of the Organic Consumers Association, defended the Vermont law and said the industry lawsuit was simply an example of large corporate interests trying to intimidate other states who are now considering labeling laws of their own.

As Cummins told the Burlington Free Press: "Every U.S. citizen should be concerned when a multi-billion dollar corporate lobbying group sues in federal court to overturn a state's right to govern for the health and safety of its citizens."

Just last week, a national poll conducted by Consumer Reports showed an overwhelming majority of U.S. consumers (more than 90 percent) think that before GMO food is sold it should be labeled accordingly. Numerous other polls in recent years have shown similar levels of support and the "right to know" movement that supports labeling has focused on state-level laws as a way to forge progress outside of Washington, DC. where the food industry holds considerable power and influence.

Reprinted from commondreams.org


 

http://commondreams.org

commondreams.org is a progressive publisher

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Bernie Sanders May Run for President in 2016

Google Acts Like Privatized NSA: WikiLeaks' Julian Assange

Groups Appeal to UN for "Humanity" as Detroit Shuts Off Water to Thousands

Correction: US Did Find Chemical Weapons in Iraq... The Ones They Sent There

"Politically Explosive" Docs Show How NSA Wiretaps Earth

Bill McKibben: We "Don't Trust" Obama on Climate Change

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Am I the only one who thinks that the "free speech... by BFalcon on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 4:05:55 PM
A decent society certainly requires anyone who's s... by Samson on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 6:12:29 PM