Vermont Could Be the First State in the Nation to Require GMO Labeling

By Meg Klepack, Outreach and Local Food Manager

Genetically Modified foods are nearly impossible to avoid these days – if you eat any non-organic, processed foods. From soda to crackers to salad dressings, genetically modified (GMO) ingredients are found in an estimated 80% of all grocery items. Yet foods containing GMOs are not labeled so most shoppers have no idea they are purchasing a product that contains GMO ingredients.

In 2009, 93% of the US soybean and canola crops were genetically engineered, as well as 86% of corn, 95% sugar beets, 80% papaya and 13% zucchini. A new variety of GMO sweet corn will be grown and marketed in the US this summer. These crops have been genetically engineered to produce their own form of insect toxin or to withstand being sprayed by weed-killer pesticides. GMO crops are used to produce many of the ingredients found in packed foods, leading to the prevalence of GMO foods in our food system. At the same time, scientific studies are increasingly questioning the safety of these products for our health and our environment.

We all have the right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children. Yet, without information on the label, we can’t tell if our food contains GMOs unless we only buy Certified Organic products which are never allowed to contain GMO ingredients.

The Vermont Right to Know Genetically Modified Food Act, introduced into the Vermont House of Representatives, would require food sold in Vermont to be labeled if it contained genetically engineered ingredients. The bill would make Vermont the first state in the nation to require GMO labeling.

City Market is pleased to join Rural Vermont, VPIRG, and NOFA Vermont in supporting this bill. Please join us in supporting the Vermont Right to Know bill - click here to tell Vermont’s elected officials that you have the right to know what’s in your food. There’s also more information about GMOs and full details of the campaign on the Vermont Right to Know Campaign website. Thanks for your support!

After signing Vermont's petition, take another moment to join the 850,000 Americans who have signed-on to the "Just Label It" campaign. They are looking for 1 million signatures by March 27!