Campaigners are seeing this as a win, and have been celebrating on social media channels. Similar proposals have passed in Connecticut and Maine, but those have been put on hold until similar laws are passed in other states. The Vermont law is also technically on hold, as it does not go into effect until June 2016.
What campaigners seem to forget is that almost all manufactured food in the US contains ingredients that have been genetically modified. Almost 90% corn, soybeans, and canola that is grown in the US come from seeds that have been modified to be resistant to weed killers and pests.
Monsato, the world’s biggest producer of genetically modified food, released a statement through email saying that they do not agree with the law. Tom Helscher, Monsato’s spokesman, said that the law would cause confusion for customers and would make food prices go higher than they already are.
Even if campaigners are dead set on pushing these laws through, they should focus on the federal level. Having such laws only on the state level will cause confusion amongst customers, as companies will only be required to label items that are intended for that particular state.
Some states like California and Washington have failed to pass such laws, because the citizens refused to allow that. Proposition 37 in California did not receive enough votes, and therefore companies are not required to label GM foods there. This prevents confusion in the consumers and keeps food prices low.
The two Vermont Senators had the right mindset when they voted against the measure. They said that putting labels on genetically modified food will wrongly lead customers to assume that consuming those is a risk. Their 26 colleagues refused to see this line of thinking though, and the measure passed 26-2.