The GMO battle between the people and corporate greed rages on. In the glaring absence of a federal GMO label law to uphold the peoples' right to know what is in our food, the state of Vermont has led the way by passing our country's first state GMO label law. Certainly one would think that it is reasonable for a state to take action to protect its people, when our President fails to stand by his promise to do so. But reasonableness does not necessarily apply when it comes to corporate greed.
As anticipated, the Grocery Manufacturers' Association (GMA) has formally announced their plans to undo the good work of the state of Vermont. The GMA issued a statement yesterday on May 8, 2014, declaring,
"Today, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law HB 112, a bill that is critically flawed and not in the best interests of consumers. It sets the nation on a costly and misguided path toward a 50-state patchwork of GMO labeling policies that will do nothing to advance the safety of consumers."
The statement continued, "Consumers who prefer to avoid GM ingredients have the option to choose from an array of products already in the marketplace labeled 'certified organic.' The government therefore has no compelling interest in warning consumers about foods containing GM ingredients, making this law's legality suspect at best. In light of this fact, in the coming weeks GMA will file suit in federal court against the state of Vermont to overturn the law."
As part of their statement, the GMA encouraged policymakers in Vermont to support the so called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which would require GMO foods to be labeled only if the FDA determines there is a health or safety risk. The GMA purported that it is in this way that, "Any labeling of GM ingredients would therefore be based on science, not fear… ."
It appears that the only fear present, is the GMA's fear of a lowered profit margin. Perhaps that is why they support the so called Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, which makes GMO labeling contingent on the FDA determining a health or safety risk. GMO proponents believe that waiting for the FDA to find a health risk with GM foods, is tantamount to waiting for Christmas to arrive in July.
Unfortunately, our President failed to honor and keep his campaign promise to the people, that he would make sure that we would know whether or not our food was genetically modified. Had Obama kept his promise, upon being elected he would have taken steps to enact a federal GMO label law. A federal GMO label law would have obviated the need for the long and costly battle on the state level that has ensued and continues to this day. But alas, once again it seems to be politics as usual. However, it is the people and not the politicians, that will pay the price.
Long Island Lawyer
Paul A. Lauto, Esq.