Vermont Senate Backs GMO Labeling Bill

By Steph Machado

Published 04/15 2014 02:12PM

Updated 04/15 2014 02:20PM

MONTPELIER - The State Senate gave preliminary approval to H.112 Tuesday, a bill that would require genetically modified foods to be labeled.

The vote was 26-2 on the bill that's already passed the House and three Senate committees. The bill would require manufacturers to label products made with GMOs, only if the food is for human consumption. GMO corn used to feed cattle, for example, would not need to be labeled--nor would the milk or meat from those cows.

A major concern and topic of debate on the floor was the chance of Vermont being sued by corporations like Monsanto. The first state to have a labeling bill would likely take on that burden, which is why Maine and Connecticut have passed GMO labeling laws with trigger clauses. Those triggers require other states to pass laws before theirs go into effect.

In Vermont, the Senate's version of the bill does not have a trigger clause. Attorney General Bill Sorrell estimates it would cost $1.5 million to fight the case.

The bill will go to a final vote Wednesday.

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