Food industry groups in Vermont are suing the state due to a law which forced the groups to label products with GMOs in them.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association and others are challenging the law in court, and have asked a judge to overturn the law. The lawsuit claims that Vermont’s rule is a “costly and misguided measure” that won’t actually help consumers. They believe that GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, pose no health risk to humans.
The groups also pointed out in the suit that following that law will cost them both time and money.
“They must revise hundreds of thousands of product packages, from the small to the super-sized,” the suit said. “Then, they must establish Vermont-only distribution channels to ensure that the speech Vermont is forcing them to say, or not say, is conveyed in that state.”
Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also thinks food from modified plants is no different than other types of food, critics strongly disagree. Many opponents of GMOs claim that they could have negative health effects later in the future, and more research needs to be done on it. It could also have negative environmental effects as well, they have said.
The lawsuit still has plenty of time to transpire, as Vermont’s law won’t go into effect for another two years. However, if and when it does go into effect, companies who do not properly label GMO products will be fined $1,000 a day until they begin labeling.
Currently, both Maine and Connecticut also have similar laws concerning GMO products, but those laws will only take effect if bordering states also create similar rules. Of course, that may never happen, depending on how Vermont’s lawsuit turns out. However, Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell has said that he is “ready to fight it.”