MONTPELIER, Vt., May 8 (UPI) — Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law yesterday a bill that makes Vermont the first state in the country to require the labeling of all GMO foods and prohibiting the use of the terms “natural” and “all natural” on foods containing any genetically modified ingredients.
Several other states have passed similar bills, but due to the prohibitive cost of enforcing such regulations, the laws only take effect when neighboring states agree to similar legislation.
Vermont is going it alone though.
GMO opponents believe they are unhealthy and claim they have a right to know what’s in their food but Republicans in Congress are attempting to pass a bill that would forbid states from passing and enforcing GMO-labeling laws.
The law includes $1.5 million set aside in a legal fund, as opponents of the bill have already said they plan to sue, but Shumlin has taken to the Internet to seek support in the states battle against big agriculture.
“We are asking people all across America, and all across the great state of Vermont, to go to (the website) and make a donation, so that we can win the Vermont food fight fund fight not only for Vermont, but for America,” he said.
Shumlin signed the bill into law in the midst of a hundreds-strong celebration that included live music and ice cream from Vermont’s own Ben & Jerry’s.