To take effect in July, Vermont’s first ever GMO labeling requirements so far include Kellogg’s, Mars, and General Mills. Bearing the words “Produced with Genetic Engineering”, the products will begin to roll out nationwide as soon as mid-April. Campbell Soup announced in January that it would also become more transparent with their ingredient labeling regarding genetically modified ingredients. This news comes after the U.S. Senate blocked the “New Dark Act”, by Kansas Senator Pat Roberts that would have stopped Vermont and other states from requiring labels on GMO foods. Mars and Kellogg’s are part of the Grocery Manufacturers Association’s (GMA) coalition of Big Food that has been fighting against GMO labeling in the U.S. for the past few years, including CA’s Prop 37.
Amid a deadlocked senate, company after company has begun to step forward in their promise to label GMO ingredients in their food, confident in their safety. As such, they have begun to push for a federal resolution to the label requirements in order to avoid confusing state-by-state requirements. Consumers are requesting transparency and have been pushing for a clear and honest label for years. Yet vote after vote has left consumers in the same place: clueless. The options before led to focusing purchases that had been Non-GMO Project Verified or provided on lists of Non-GMO Shopping Guides. One of the most sure and simple solutions? Start your own garden.
Sen. Bernie Sanders issued the following statement after the Senate blocked legislation by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) that would block Vermont and other states from requiring labels on genetically modified foods: “I am pleased that Congress stood up to the demands of Monsanto and other multi-national food industry corporations and rejected this outrageous bill. Today’s vote was a victory for the American people over corporate interests. Sen. Roberts’ legislation violates the will of the people of Vermont and the United States who overwhelmingly believe that genetically modified food should be labeled. Republicans like to talk about states’ rights, but now they are attempting to preempt the laws of Vermont and other states that seek to label GMOs. All over this country, people are becoming more conscious about the food they eat and the food they serve their kids. When parents go to the store and purchase food for their children, they have a right to know what they are feeding them. GMO labeling exists in 64 other countries. There is no reason it can’t exist here.”