Judge Rules on Vermont's Decision to Mandate Labels on Genetically Modified Foods
VERMONT - One short year after Vermont became the first state to proceed with Act 120, a statute mandating labels on all genetically modified (GMO) products, the matter has been heard and decided by a federal judge.
U.S. District Court Judge Christina Reiss determined that the statute on identifying GMO’s is constitutional and shall proceed.
The decision could provide a fundamental premise for several other states expected to vote on the matter next year. The labeling law was passed in Vermont in 2014, according to the Burlington Free Press, but has been a matter of heated debate as far as whether or not it is constitutional on the grounds of interference with business and possibilities of discrimination.
"Manufacturers are being harmed, and they are being harmed now," the Grocery Manufacturers Association said in a statement, according to the Burlington Free Press. "Act 120 is unconstitutional and imposes burdensome new speech requirements on food manufacturers and retailers."
The judge ruled, however, that because the law doesn’t impose burdens greater than what currently exists on companies outside of Vermont than those within the state, doesn’t require GMO labeling nationwide, and doesn’t conflict with laws in other states, it is not unconstitutional.
The determination allows the statute to go into effect as originally planned on July 1, 2016, however because Judge Reiss reportedly agreed with some points raised by opponents that are trying to block the statute, it is possible the matter could still be brought to trial.
AndNowUKnow will continue to keep you up to date as we follow this developing story.