Vermont’s labeling law simply says, “partially produced with genetic engineering.”
The ASA and its partner associations issued a joint statement saying: “The survey demonstrates that the Vermont on-pack GMO labeling law that is effectively setting GMO labeling policy for interstate commerce is misleading to consumers and powerfully disparaging of a safe, environmentally appropriate technology.” It went on to say that the Senate bill would preempt the Vermont law and permit GMO disclosure that was not misleading.
Meanwhile, Pamela Bailey, president and CEO, Grocery Manufacturers Association, in supporting the Senate’s bill, said in a statement: “…consumers and small businesses in the state [Vermont] are already facing fewer products on the shelves and higher costs of compliance on small businesses.”
Rodale Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to pioneering organic farming through research and outreach, sent a letter to all members of the U.S. Senate in late June to carefully consider the implications of the bill on organic agriculture. “The bill was ostensibly about labeling, but it has become a vehicle for a broader attack on organic agriculture,” it read in part.
The fight over GMO labeling has been contentious and costly. For example, food and biotechnology companies spent about $101 million to oppose it in 2015, according to the Washington D.C.-based Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization that cited Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz Co., Kellogg’s, Land O’Lakes, and General Mills as spending a combined $20.6 million to lobby against GMO labeling.