Vermont House passes GMO labeling bill - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vermont House passes GMO labeling bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. - Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs are found in some food items in your local supermarket and lawmakers in Vermont want residents of the Green Mountain State to know what they're eating.

Shoppers are always reading labels on food in the supermarket and consumers may have one new label to read in the future.

The House has passed a bill that's likely to make Vermont the first state with a labeling requirement for genetically modified foods.

"They want to know what's in their food, and this is a step that Vermont's been waiting for and across the nation, Vermont's providing leadership here," said Rep. Michael Mrowicki, D-Putney.

Over the years, the issue of Genetically Modified Organism labels on food items has generated enormous public opinion. Critics of the GMO label believe it may violate the law, and Vermont could face a lawsuit.

"There will be a legal challenge, we all know that, our attorney general told us someone will do a legal challenge on this," said Sen. Norm McAllister, R-Franklin County.

To address concern, legislators set up a legal defense fund. It will be financed with tax dollars and also private donations. The attorney general believes a lawsuit could cost the state $1 million to defend.

Even skeptics of the law worried about expensive legal bills decided to support the bill because their constituents wanted it.

The House approved the measure on a vote of 114-30.

Now that the House and Senate have passed the GMO bill, it's up to Gov. Peter Shumlin, D-Vermont. Aides to Shumlin say it's likely he will sign the bill into law.

Maine and Connecticut passed GMO labeling bills before Vermont, but theirs take effect only if neighboring states follow along. Vermont is going solo with a bill that would take effect July 1, 2016.
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