Legal challege to Vermont’s GMO labeling law

Four national organizations have filed suit against Vermont’s new mandatory GMO labeling law. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, Snack Food Association, International Dairy Foods Association and National Association of Manufacturers claim the law exceeds the state’s authority under the U.S. Constitution.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, claims, among other things that the federal government has sole authority over labeling and nationwide distribution that facilitates interstate commerce. The suit also charges that the law imposes burdensome requirements and restrictions on free speech.

The law, set to take effect in July of 2016 is the first in the nation to require labeling of food products which may contain genetically modified ingredients. Meat, dairy, alcohol and meals prepared in restaurants are exempt. The four associations claim that exemption is evidence that the law has no health, safety or scientific basis as a large number of foods which may contain GMOs would not be labeled.

Supporters of the law say consumers have a right to know what is in their food and all that is required is that if a product may contain genetically modified ingredients it is stated on the label.

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