The state of Vermont has passed Act 120, a mandatory labeling law that requires food manufacturers to label food containing genetically modified organisms or GMO, for various health, personal, religious, and environmental reasons.
The findings were substantiated by the polls conducted by the University of Vermont, revealing that a majority of people in this state want to know which foods are produced with genetic engineering, as well as the polling by the New York Times indicating that there seems to be a lot of uncertainty with whether the food is produced from genetic engineering and that labeling will reduce consumers’ confusion or deception regarding the food they purchase.
Act 120 relates to the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering, so that consumers can make their own decisions about what products they want to purchase.
“Food” under the statute is defined as food intended for human consumption, which includes candy and snacks.
As of July 1, 2016, food needs to be labeled as produced entirely or partially from genetic engineering if offered for retail sale in Vermont.
In the case of any processed food that contains a product or products of genetic engineering, the label on the package should read: “partially produced with genetic engineering”; “may be produced with genetic engineering”; or “produced with genetic engineering.”
One of the above statements will need to be included on the labels and added, as appropriate, to the wholesaler or retailer private label and nutritional panels as required, if product is sold, distributed, or otherwise made available for sale in Vermont. Manufacturers will be required to add this label to all of their branded products.
The wording for the label can be in any color but must contrast with the background. It must contain a font size no smaller than that used for “Serving Size” on the Nutrition Facts label, and should be in bold type, so the consumer can easily read it. The label should also state the company legal name, address, contact information and email address.
The new GMO labeling law for the state of Vermont will have big implications on all manufacturers, distribution channels and retailers selling foods in and into the state of Vermont, as it will require evaluating the GE content of product ingredient sources; making advertising investment in revised marketing campaigns; and re-designing and printing new labels to include one of the versions of “produced with genetic engineering,” as applicable.
This law takes effect July 1st 2016. For your reference the law can be found at: www.leg.state.vt.us/docs/2014/Acts/ACT120.pdf
For your reference, we have also included details about a grassroots effort that would block individual states, such as Vermont from mandating GMO labeling and would establish a voluntary federal system for labeling GM foods.