The four major food manufacturing companies announced that they would be labeling food products on a national basis. Each company has released a statement highlighting their commitment to ensure that their labeling process complies with the State of Vermont labeling law; highlighting that a uniform national labeling standard would be the most appropriate course of action. A uniform national standard would preempt state law, and would prevent additional costs to be incurred forcing each company to comply with state standards.
In 2014 Vermont Governor Shumlin signed the bill into law which will become effective in July 2016.
“I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food. The Legislature has spoken loud and clear through its passage of this bill,” Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) said in a statement after the bill passed. “I wholeheartedly agree with them and look forward to signing this bill into law.”
“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 fight not only for Vermont, but for America, Shumlin said.
On the 23rd of April 2014 the State legislature passed the bill with an overwhelming majority of 114-20 votes. The Vermont labeling bill (H. 112) is the first bill that will go into effect independent of actions by other states. GE labeling bills in Connecticut and Maine have required that a certain number of states enact similar legislation before they would take effect.
The bill language addresses the failure of the federal government to label food and the conflict with the natural label: “Because both the FDA and the U.S. Congress do not require the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering, the State should require food produced with genetic engineering to be labeled as such in order to serve the interests of the State.”
“In addition to requiring that foods produced using genetic engineering be labeled, the bill also mandates that GE foods cannot be labeled as “natural.”
“At our core, Kellogg believes in transparency and that people should know what’s in their food and where it comes from. There’s been a lot of talk over the past year about GMO ingredients because of the ongoing debate in Washington, D.C., and around the country about whether and how foods that contain genetically modified ingredients should be labeled.
As a company that sells food in every state, we know that an inconsistent patchwork of labeling laws like the one that goes into effect July 1 in the State of Vermont is confusing and will increase grocery costs for American families and our business.
We will continue to strongly urge Congress to pass a uniform, federal solution for the labeling of GMOs. In fact, we believe an agreement on one is achievable. But until a federal solution is reached, and in order to comply with Vermont’s labeling law, we will start labeling some of our products nationwide for the presence of GMOs beginning in mid-to-late April. We chose nationwide labeling because a special label for Vermont would be logistically unmanageable and even more costly for us and our consumers,” Statement from Paul Norman, President, Kellogg North America, on GMO Labeling
“As the discussions continue in Washington, one thing is very clear: Vermont state law requires us to start labeling certain grocery store food packages that contain GMO ingredients or face significant fines.
“We can’t label our products for only one state without significantly driving up costs for our consumers and we simply will not do that.
The result: consumers all over the U.S. will soon begin seeing words legislated by the state of Vermont on the labels of many of their favorite General Mills products. eff Harmening is an executive vice president and chief operating officer, for U.S. Retail at General Mills, based in Minneapolis” Jeff Harmening is an executive vice president and chief operating officer, for U.S. Retail at General Mills, based in Minneapolis.