Vt. writes rules for GMO labeling law - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Vt. writes rules for GMO labeling law

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Vermont has a new first-in-the-nation GMO food labeling law and now it's time for the Attorney General's office to write the rules for food producers to follow.

Vermonter Jeannine Kilbride owns Cobb Hill Cheese and Cobb Hill Frozen Yogurt. She is ready to comply with the newly passed GMO labeling law, but says she doesn't even know where to start. Dairy is not exempt in Washington State, one of many states where she does business, but in Vermont it is.

"They have one set of rules that they go by to certify a company, and Vermont hasn't developed their rules yet," said Kilbride.

Kilbride and dozens of others attended a session at the Vermont Specialty Food Association's conference on understanding Vermont's new GMO labeling law. The meeting is one of many opportunities food producers will have to offer their input to the Vermont Attorney General's office as they begin to draft rules that will go into effect in just over 2 years.

Attorney Todd Daloz from the Vermont Attorney General's office explained that now is the time for food producers to speak up.

"What we need to think about is in rule making is, is it possible to get verification and a certification that the only non-GMO you've got is something that's exempted," said Todd Daloz, attorney with Vt. Attorney General's office.

Ingredients are a major concern for food producers, because they say even if they want to change their recipes to be able to avoid labeling their food as having GMO's they can't.

"One of our major components of our process is corn starch, in our production, and by going to gmo it means either we have to change the corn starch to potato starch or we have to change all our packaging," said Monique Duckworth from Deano's Jalapeno's.

"What we need to do is have one certifying body, one set of rules for everyone," said Kilbride.

The rules will cover everything in regards to labeling products, even what style and size font food producers can use on their labels. After the first draft is published, which the Attorney General's office says they hope to have by January 2015, there will be more opportunities for public comment. Then they hope to have a final draft by July of next year.

The Vermont Attorney General's office wants to hear from the public whether you are involved in the food industry or not.

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