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Vermont's governor just announced some very important news that's bound to make  millions of concerned consumers around the country - very happy. The small New England state seems to be on a dynamic roll these days.

Last week Vermont became the first state to pass a Joint Resolution (JRS 27) to overturn Citizens United.

This week, Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT) announced, when he signs the H.112 bill on Friday, Vermont will also be the first state to pass a law that requires GMO (genetically modified organism) labeling on all food products.

"I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food. The Legislature has spoken loud and clear through its passage of this bill," Gov. Peter Shumlin (D-Vt.) said in a statement after the bill passed. "I wholeheartedly agree with them and look forward to signing this bill into law.”
Shumlin says he will sign the law and it will go into effect July 2016. GMO food labeling is already required in all EU countries.

RT reported:

Monsanto, DuPont, Kraft Foods Co. and others previously led the charge against the similar labeling legislation in California and Washington state, grossly outspending supporters of the measure that was eventually defeated in both states, with anti-labeling groups spending $22 million of the $28 million total spent on that campaign in Washington."
Governor Shumlin stated:
“There is no doubt that there are those who will work to derail this common-sense legislation. But I believe this bill is the right thing to do and will gain momentum elsewhere after our action here in Vermont.”
Thursday, on the Tavis Smiley Show, Shumlin said that he will most likely be sued by some of the food industry corporations, once the bill is signed, but he will continue to stand by the law. NPR reports there is a $1.5 million legal fund already set up to fight legal battles.

Here is a link to a 3-minute NPR Audio and Transcript

UPDATE: 6:49 EDT
The American Press just announced:

A national food industry group has just announced it will file suit in federal court within weeks challenging Vermont's new law that requires labels on genetically modified foods. "The government has no compelling interest in warning consumers about foods containing genetically modified ingredients. The national group maintains the foods are not unsafe."
That's okay, the people will win this in the end. Cheers to Vermont, and to the millions of activists and everyday people who've worked relentlessly to get to this point. Once again, power to the people.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Rat Turds In The Peanut Butter Still Get A Pass? (9+ / 0-)

    Because there's lot of things we could be testing for.

    Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

    by bernardpliers on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:01:59 PM PDT

  •  The right thing to do (25+ / 0-)

    People should know what is in their food, and should also know, to the maximum extent possible, how their food is produced.

    I know a lot of Kossers think the science of GMO is sound, though, in truth, the testing for a variety of issues has never been done.

    But what GMO defenders do not understand is that the impact of GMO seed is most profound at the level of production:  on the farm.  There, the ritual dousing of plants and soil with gobs of pesticide and herbicide, now all the more likely because the GMO plant is "immune" from the poison, is what is really killing our eco-systems, from the biotic to the aquatic, rivers, lakes and even the dead zone in the Gulfo de Mexico.  

    Monsanto wants us to argue about nutrition and whether GMO food is "safe".  Who knows?   The testing never was done.  But, on the ground, the results are clear and catastrophic.

    And that's why labeling is necessary, needed and important.  I can choose to buy products that are not ruining the planet when I know they are not GMO.

    Industrial food production in America ruins our health, our environment and consumes more fossil fuel than any segment of our economy.

    by Mi Corazon on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:07:03 PM PDT

    •  Cheerios (the original only) is now GMO-free. (15+ / 0-)

      Seems like a test case to see if it boosts sales.  If you like Cheerios, seems like a time to buy.

      The other undeniable fact of GM crops is that they tie the farmers into a permanent buying relationship with agrobusiness.  Seed-saving, the foundation of agriculture for the entire Holocene, is now suspect and derided.

      This is bad enough for American farmers whose crops can be contaminated by their neighbors' GMO crops and then have to pay royalties; for third world farmers, it is devastating.  They rack up huge debts paying for the seeds, and the herbicides and pesticides that the GMO seeds require, and then their crop yields are barely above their previous yields, if at all.  Meanwhile, the herbicides and pesticides sterilize the soil, so they can't even go back to their traditional methods if they want to.

      Search for India farmer suicides, and read all about what GMOs are doing to "feed the world".

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:28:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  The original Cheerios (4+ / 0-)

        They have always been GMO-free. General Mills hasn't changed anything. There are no GMO oats. On the box it states there could be trace amounts of GMOs due to "cross contact".  Congratulations Vermont!  I wonder why they (Monsanto and other GMOers) are spending tens of millions of dollars to not have to label? - sarcasm

        •  They never had GMO oats, but they actually had to (4+ / 0-)

          change sources to make the other ingredients non-GMO.

          Per the company itself:

          "We switched from what we were using to non-GMO corn and non-GMO pure sugar cane," said General Mills (GIS, Fortune 500) spokesman Mike Siemienas.

          He said the company did not change the formula and has never used genetically modified oats. The company said that it has always used whole grain oats.

          But he said the company did switch from using beet sugar, which is sometimes genetically modified, and also switched from certain sources of corn to ensure that their corn sources were not genetically modified. He said this change occurred over the last year and required a significant investment.

          However, these changes apply only to original Cheerios, he said, because purging genetic modification from the myriad other types, like Honey Nut and Apple Cinnamon, would be "difficult, if not impossible."

          (bold mine)

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:19:36 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  More on the newly (yes, newly) GMO-free (2+ / 0-)

          original Cheerios and the still GMO other flavors:

          While continuing to use genetically modified ingredients in products sold in the United States and Canada, General Mills offers non-GMO Honey Nut Cheerios to consumers in Europe. Most industrialized countries have required GMO labeling for years. In Europe, General Mills manufactures all flavors of Cheerios without GMOs, or if it sells Cheerios in Europe that are manufactured in North America, the product is labeled as “likely containing GMOs.”

          Additionally, General Mills has spent over a million dollars in the past two years blocking GMO labeling laws. In Washington State, General Mills funded the campaign opposing labeling initiative 522 through the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA). General Mills’ CEO Ken Powell is the vice chair of the GMA, which has been sued for violating campaign finance laws in Washington state by attempting to shield the identities of its donor companies. Meanwhile, polls from the New York Times and ABC News show more than 93 percent Americans support the labeling of GMOs.[2]

          (bold in original)

          © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

          by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:23:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  GMOers spending OUR dollars (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          catilinus

          GMOers are spending the profits from folks buying their products, ignoring or not being able to get non-GMO products.  here in Oregon, our local markets are going to the trouble of trying to get non-GMO products and when they get them they are thus labeled on the shelf so we don't have to spend all day reading labels....we have mom and pop food suppliers and restaurants who will not buy or sell GMO products and are proud to let us know...you know we "crazy" Oregonians, we'll be tree huggers and now GMO haters forever yet we still do not yet have a state law like Vermont, YET!  contratulations, Vermont, you hit the mark!

      •  Who eat "original Cheerios" these days? (0+ / 0-)

        Heck, wasn't it way back in the Reagan era that General Mills advertising thoroughly indoctrinated everyone about the benefits of the "Honey Nut" improved version?

    •  P.S. -- And what testing was done in terms of (10+ / 0-)

      safety was systematically attacked.  

      For example, Dr. Arpad Pusztai found genetically modified potatoes devastated the health of lab rats.  Subsequent to that, he was denounced and ridiculed, even though he had been a respected scientist.

      Lancet study on GMO potatoes

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:35:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  They made the guy who discovered microbes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cai, ichibon, nerafinator

        crazy.  Makes me wish for an afterlife, so these folks can gloat when they are proven right.

        ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

        by slowbutsure on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:49:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Yes. Because his work was debunked. (6+ / 0-)

        To start with, see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

        His finding was preliminary—there were six rats in each group, fed only for 10 days, and the effects reported were minor
        Anyone think you can find statistically significant results from just 6 rats per group?

        Which, of course, leads to the next question - why would anyone bother doing such a study with just 6 rats unless the fix was already in?

        •  THIS. (4+ / 0-)

          Criticism of bad science is not an evil conspiracy to support Monsanto. It's just...good science.

          Just because you want something to be true, just because it confirms your own feelings and your own bias, does not mean that it is good science. You all so desperately want GMOs to be proven dangerous that you throw your support behind a handful of misleading studies that were not conducted with proper scientific or intellectual rigour. Meanwhile you ignore the thousands of legitimate studies done wherein the research and the methods were sound, just because it doesn't confirm all of your vague apprehension about GMOs.

          This is the kind of thing that crackpots do. The thing I don't understand about progressives is that we ridicule anti-science wingnuts when it comes to education and climate change, but then we become them ourselves when it comes to something like genetic modification.

        •  A working link would be useful :-) (0+ / 0-)

          Statistically significant?  Depends on how many groups of rats we're talking about.

          I'd also point out that Pusztai himself SAID it was preliminary and wasn't presenting his findings as final.  

          He was just making some personal comments about discovering things during the project that totally shook his own previous personal belief in the safety of GMOs and concerned him.

          He was stopped from continuing the project and his raw data was seized.  Hi contract wasn't renewed.  He was shunned.  And it was Monsanto that put the pressure on the Royal Society to stop him.  

          Don't forget that many other scientists, such as the guy who determined lead in gasoline was hazardous to our health and the guy who determined the same thing about asbestos, have been shamed and ostracized and their work "debunked" thanks to industry and government pressure.

          And do remember that leading pro-GMO scientists (Pamela Ronald, for example, twice in 2013) have also had their own research debunked and withdrawn.  

          By the way, are you aware that, until quite recently, independent researchers were not allowed to do research on GMO seeds?  

          So far, I'm personally neither for or against GMO food.  But, like the vast majority of Americans I do believe that there should be labeling so that people can choose, but I doubt that I personally would check.  

          Now, I do NOT like the way that non-GMO crops are being affected by GMO pollen, or the way that Monsanto wants farmers whose crops have been cross-pollinated to pay for GMO seeds (personally, I think Monsanto should be required to replace those farmers' non-GMO seeds), and I certainly don't like the spread of "super-weeds" that have also been created.

          •  Sorry about the link... (0+ / 0-)

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/...

            Statistically significant?  Depends on how many groups of rats we're talking about.
            There were two groups - the experimental rats and the controls.
            He was just making some personal comments about discovering things during the project that totally shook his own previous personal belief in the safety of GMOs and concerned him.
            Well, again, obvious tendentious nonsense.  He was testing a GMO potato that produced a different protein form the non-GMO potato.  If there was a problem (and all the evidence is that there was not) then the obvious conclusion is that it was caused by the new protein and had nothing to do with GMO being the method used to produce a potato that had that protein.
            He was stopped from continuing the project and his raw data was seized.  Hi contract wasn't renewed.  He was shunned.
            Yes.  That's what happens to people who appear to be committing scientific fraud.
            And it was Monsanto that put the pressure on the Royal Society to stop him.  
            Monsanto certainly asked everyone involved to stop him -  Pusztai was making fraudulent claims about their products.  
            By the way, are you aware that, until quite recently, independent researchers were not allowed to do research on GMO seeds?
            Another lie.  

            Researchers create (and have created) their own GMO seeds pretty much at will and done any research they want, within the constraints of various regulations preventing them from releasing their organisms to the environment.

            Now, I do NOT like the way that non-GMO crops are being affected by GMO pollen, or the way that Monsanto wants farmers whose crops have been cross-pollinated to pay for GMO seeds
            In the main case on this that went to court the court very clearly stated that given the concentration and quality of the GMO seeds in the samples, the farmer's story about how they had gotten there was almost certainly false.  The strongly implied that he somehow obtained GMO seeds and mixed them with his own seed.
    •  Mother earth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote

        and poisoning the balance of the soil.
         Great comment, if I may critique?

      I know a lot of Kossers think the science of GMO is sound,
        I think more the opposite would be the case.
         There's over a million registered users on DKOS.
         There's some RW talking points that interject themselves here on DKOS. I always balance that disproportion when reading comments.

      March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

      by 3rock on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:56:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Ugh. (4+ / 0-)

      I'm tired of hearing this tinfoil hat nonsense about how the "the testing has never been done" or that "the science isn't in on GMOs". The science is in. They aren't dangerous. Thousands of studies have been done over a period of decades now and none besides fraudulent and shameful attempts to shape public opinion with misinformation have confirmed the doomsaying conjecture of all the self-congratulating white people out there who just want everyone to "eat organic, man".

      If you want to talk about the way that companies like Monsanto are monopolizing agribusiness and food and need to be stopped, sure, I'm on board. But vilifying genetic modification just because you don't like some of the companies that are currently trying their hand at it is ridiculous and irresponsible.

    •  I'll tell you what is in your food, idiot. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Matt Mulligan

      In Corn is CORN. In Soybeans is SOYBEANS. In Peas is PEAS. And so forth. Now you know. My suggestion is that ALL producers of food of any kind be forced to pay to label the contents of their product because WE ALL WANT AND NEED TO KNOW WHAT IS IN OUR FOOD. Every Apple you eat should list its contents: THIS CONTAINS APPLE.

      Just what the hell do you anti-science woo-filled idiots THINK is in GMOs? Are you even aware that there are many different kinds of GMOs and that, within the class of GMOs there are, for instance, 26 different kinds of Corn GMOs? And that there are even more kinds of non-GMO Corn hybrids? I think every one of them, expecially the so-called ORGANIC crops, need to list their ingredients because WE ALL NEED TO KNOW THAT CORN contains CORN and that it doesn't contain SOYBEANS. But mainly, we need to know that the ORGANIC food we pay extra for DOESN'T CONTAIN E. COLI. Because......

    •  Killing our ecosystems, yes (0+ / 0-)

      And then all food is affected.

  •  I just read that at Reuters, and my first thought (10+ / 0-)

    was, Well, here we go, another constitutional challenge where Kraft et al will say the requirement infringes on their First Amendment right not to tell you what's in the box. And with this court ...

    Way to go, VT!

    stay together / learn the flowers / go light - Gary Snyder

    by Mother Mags on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:19:47 PM PDT

    •  I'm a very strong supporter of the First Amendment (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cai, Mother Mags

      but I think a claim that requiring labeling of product content violates First Amendment rights  is not one that should win.

      Note that they could choose to advance claims other than First Amendment claims, including federal pre-emption.

      •  Drugs have to be labeled, (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Creosote

        food has to be labeled, why not GMO's?  Clothing fabric has to be labeled, they put warnings on cigarettes and mirrors on cars, cripes, warnings that coffee may be hot, do not put fingers into a fan, watch your step, don't consume bleach...I know most of these are because some people are pretty stupid, but trust us this stuff is good for you....Trust us?
        An acre of fallow farmland in northern Michigan costs $1,200 (+/-).  Grow your own, buy a cow and about four chickens.
        BTW, the Great Lakes contain about 20% of the WORLD's fresh water, every county in Michigan except one is signed up for fracking, to say nothing of the fact the lakes are shared with Canada.

        Life is tough...it's tougher if you're stupid~~~John Wayne

        by oliviaah on Thu May 08, 2014 at 11:34:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  All of those things that you mentioned (0+ / 0-)

          Are dangerous EXCEPT GMOs. Smoking is harmful.  Putting your finger in fans is harmful.  GMOs are not harmful.  

          •  Saying that GMOs (uniformly) are NOT harmful (0+ / 0-)

            is at least as irrational as saying that GMOs uniformly ARE harmful.  Particularly when you consider not simply the act of eating some GMO soybeans, but the reality of GMO soybeans being grown and profitably sold, and what that does to the environment, given that pesticides in the environment are harmful on a level we have a right to be concerned about.

            GMO corn in which pesticides are produced within the plant that we eat may be okay...or not.  But rational people can reasonably ask that this be tested, since the people at Montsanto are not known for ethical behavior, and there's no reason to trust them.

            Throwing the accusation of being anti-science around because people disagree with you about Montsanto corn is wildly unjustified and makes you sound like a mere propagandist.

            --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

            by Fiona West on Mon May 12, 2014 at 11:30:38 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  GMOs cut pesticide use. (0+ / 0-)

              They also allow for more food to be grown with less resources and land.  They are GOOD for the environment for the same reason that they are profitable--they are more efficient.  As far as your "uniformly" statement, I am referring to those GMOs that have been approved for the U.S. marketplace.

              You use "Monsato" as a scare word.  Monsanto has some dirty practices, but none of them have to do with the quality and usefulness of their products.  I'm glad they've developed these products, as they are an environmentally friendly way to increase food supply.

  •  Yay VT! Too many do not understand the (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, 3rock, Creosote, nerafinator

    difference between selective breeding and Genetically Modified Organisms.

    ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

    by slowbutsure on Thu May 08, 2014 at 03:48:06 PM PDT

  •  Good (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    akze29, Chi

    I personally don't care about GMO's, but they should be labelled.  It just seems like common sense.

    •  Non GMO labeling (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cats r Flyfishn

      Do non-GMO products label themselves as such now?  I know I see organic labeling (which I guess by definition is non-GMO) but don't recall seeing anything specific to non-GMO labeling.

      Like one poster said above, the choice to buy non-GMO may not solely be for health reasons (if you believe them to be better for you), but to support the non-corporate farmers and protest the impact on the environment.  So one way or another, consumers should have that choice.

  •  perfect competition demands perfect information (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, akze29, Chi, SCFrog

    Efficient markets require people to know as much about the various products for sale as possible in order to make correct choices according to their preferences.

    Of course, nobody said that the Ferengi believe in capitalism per se, just profit.

    Domestic politics is the continuation of civil war by other means.

    by Visceral on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:30:54 PM PDT

  •  As Vermont is a small state, almost all food in (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ

    the state will be labeled with stickers as containing GMOs, except for some but not all  foods currently labeled "without GMO."  The Vermont market is just not large enough for national or regional food companies to switch to no GMO products with systems to insure they are no GMO.

    If the penalty is high for mislabeling food as without GMOs when in fact it has GMOs, some food companies will put a "contains GMOs" sticker over the "No GMOs" on the label just in case a mistake is made with their "no GMO food content"

    Reminds me of California requiring businesses to post signs warning people of cancer causing chemicals in a building, with a sever penalty if one had such chemicals and did not post the sign.  The result is every building and business post the sign and everyone ignores the sign.

    I'm not sure if Vermont doing this will a accelerate or decelerate the rest of the country from doing so.

    The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

    by nextstep on Thu May 08, 2014 at 04:48:18 PM PDT

    •  Connecticut has a bill that would require GMO (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3rock, Carol in San Antonio

      labeling when neighboring states require it too, as does Maine.

      Vermont going ahead will likely light a fire under other New England activists.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:28:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  People in the U.S. have no idea that most of their (7+ / 0-)

      food contains GMOs.

      The industry is rightfully afraid of the outcry were it known.

      Europe required labeling, and consumers refused to buy the GMO products.  The Market Spoke.

      Well, these good capitalists don't want the market to speak here.

      © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

      by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:32:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What prevents food without GMOs from labeling (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        aimeehs, slouchsock, mdetrano

        that fact today?  Why the need for foods with GMOs to label with GMOs when one can assume it has GMOs unless labeled otherwise?

        The most important way to protect the environment is not to have more than one child.

        by nextstep on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:00:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lot's of food items are labeled GMO free. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          nextstep, slouchsock

          I'm not sure where everyone here does the majority of their grocery shopping but the largest Florida chain, Publix (also in some of Southern states), has plenty of items labeled GMO free.  As does Target, which is pretty much almost everywhere.

          Personally I could care less.  I like some of Amy's Organic items almost all of these items (if not all) are GMO free.  I will also buy plenty of items that contain GMO (if it's not labeled as such it more then  likely has a GMO component in it).

  •  Thank You and Vermont (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cai, Chi
    GMO food labeling is required in all EU countries

    and most countries ban the growing of (think pollen).
       The bottom line with anybody that wants to argue with me is "single generation seed does not evolve or acclimate" It's ludicrous.

    March AGAINST monsatanOHagentorange 3/25/13 a time warp

    by 3rock on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:11:14 PM PDT

  •  "not unsafe". (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    3rock, Chi, SCFrog, Carol in San Antonio

    Talk about weasel-wording.  They know safety in humans was never tested on a broad basis, so they have to go with "not unsafe".  

    Nothing is dangerous if you refuse to systematically look for and catalogue the possible dangers.

    © cai Visit 350.org to join the fight against global warming.

    by cai on Thu May 08, 2014 at 05:31:26 PM PDT

  •  GMO labelling (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Chi, Carol in San Antonio

    Technically you're incorrect about VT being the first state.

    http://grist.org/...

    Connecticut made food history last week when Gov. Dannel Malloy (D) signed the first state law in the nation mandating the labeling of foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.
    Vermont isn't even the second state
    Maine will become the second state to require labels on food that contains genetically modified ingredients under new legislation signed by Gov. Paul LePage (R) this week
    The catch is that in CT 4 other states in the area have to pass it
    but the rules will take effect only after at least four other states enact similar laws. The bill also requires that any combination of Northeast states where together reside at least 20 million must adopt similar laws in order for the Connecticut regulations to take effect.
    Maine has a similar catch
    But shoppers in Maine won’t see those GMO labels slapped all over grocery stores any time soon. The legislation doesn’t go into effect until five nearby states, including New Hampshire, pass similar labeling laws. New Hampshire’s legislature will take up a similar measure during its legislative session this year.
    With Vermont that makes 2 neighboring states and about 2 million people.  If 3 more pass it Maine's law kicks in.  CT would need say NY and one more state to pass it.  The good news is that there are about 30 states with similar legislation making its way through.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Thu May 08, 2014 at 06:15:40 PM PDT

  •  Industry doesn't have a leg to stand on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    Consider that food already has descriptions -- Kosher, Kosher for Passover, vegan, "produced in a facility that also processes nuts", for that matter complete ingredient lists, so there's a LOT of precedent for labeling.

  •  I don't like this law. (7+ / 0-)

    GMOs are proven to be safe, and the fear-mongering around them is quite similar to the anti-vaccine movement.

    Also, how exactly would this work? Producers fit one set of standards to every state? Let's not forget that GMO skeptics can buy organic foods (always non-GMO) or just shop at Whole Foods Market all the time.

    •  It isn't so much the GMO food itself (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomFromNJ

      It is the "Roundup ready" nature of it that causes it to be grown swimming in pesticides.

      While the food itself may be immune to the pesticides, you are not, and a lot of food does in fact retain the pesticide even after washing...and that assumes you get to wash it, rather than having it go through some kind of factory for processing which may nor may not care about trying to remove the pesticides.

      The other problem is the vast majority of GMO grains are Monsanto grains, which has destructive and predatory legal practices.  I'd oppose GMOs just as a proxy to oppose Monsanto, but the pesticide thing is the true, proven health risk.

      •  In that case, why not require ... (3+ / 0-)

        the labeling of pesticide content?

        So many grams of carbs, so many grams of sodium, and so many grams of pesticide.  

        And why not try to overturn the "destructive and predatory legal practices"? (I'm assuming you mean requiring people to pay licensing fees if GMO crop mated with their crop.)  

        Let's attack the villains (pesticides in the foods, extortion of license fees when crops "do what come naturally"), but why the proxies?

        •  Spot on. (0+ / 0-)

          Let's attack the actual problem (pesticides) rather than demonize safe technologies.

          •  Primarily because it's too complex (0+ / 0-)

            complex means the armies of lawyers and advertising Monsanto has muddy the waters and drown out the message.

            Just banning the practice that leads to the abuses has met with political success, all through Europe and to a limited extent elsewhere.

            We've repeatedly lost the battle on pesticides (note "organic" is code for "less pesticides".  Organic labeling is how we "won" that battle back in the last generation).  The FUD is too strong.

  •  Considering that virtually every food (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ, wildweasels, mdetrano

    eaten by people is genetically modified, all this seems to do is make a bunch of work for label makers.

    Which isn't necessarily a bad thing . .. .

  •  We should just boycott those companies (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Carol in San Antonio

    who filed suit against VT Gov. Shumlin for this law.

    It's irrelevant, if people consider GMO food for safe or not, there is no reason to not label any product you ingest with the exact list of ingredients, and I mean the list of scientific names.

  •  The companies don't want (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite

    to admit they've been feeding us the stuff for years. People might end to get upset.

  •  I've read arguments on both sides (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomFromNJ

    in terms whether or not GM foods pose a health risk, narrow the gene pool in terms of seed diversity, seed "copyright" issues, etc.

    The one thing I can't see why ANYONE should to is informing consumers a food product was made using GMO. Nefarious or benign, people should be empowered to make their own choice.

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Fri May 09, 2014 at 06:33:17 AM PDT

  •  long term (0+ / 0-)

    "The national group maintains the foods are not unsafe"

    If GMO foods are truly perfectly safe, then what's the problem with labeling them as GMO foods? Wouldn't that be the same as a "hmm, delicious and safe" label, not to mention "more nutritious" (which several GMO foods claim to be)?

    See that's the weird thing. Industry claims always place their products (GMO foods) as superior to traditionally grown foods. And not just superior. Superior in very distinct ways with real data to back up those claims.

    So what's the hold up? Companies always use their marketing machinery to broadcast any advantages a new product has over an old. Why is "Big Ag" violating this model? That's the thing that's all so suspicious.

    You don't want people to know they're buying a superior product? Now that's just plain fertilizer there!

    Here in Washington state, (as mentioned in the blog), tens of millions of dollars were spent on this front. Think about it. What's the cost of those sticky little labels we find already on our lemons or bananas in the produce aisle? Or what's the real cost of adding just one more line of print to that bag of frozen corn?

    So, no, it can't possibly be merely a matter of labeling cost which raises this level of concern. Years worth of labeling costs have already been spent to avoid labeling costs. And years worth more are expected to be spent. So again, it can't be about the actual cost of labeling.

    But it is about money. It's always about money. So what money? Ah, lawsuits. That's their concern. If specific manufacturers are required to label GMO foods "safe for human consumption", then they're legally liable if or when those claims are determined (ruled) to be false. This is markedly different from having industry representative groups make verbal claims of safety, because the industry representative group cannot be sued for damages. A specific manufacturer can.

    Since manufacturers (designers) have simply no way of knowing what the long term effects of GMO foods will be on humans (which, to date, makes the general consumership something of an unwitting test lab), they know very well that there's a chance health problems will ensue. But they're only guilty of placing us at risk if required to inform us "all is well". That's why they're fighting so hard against putting their boasts in print. And that's why this fight will roil on for years to come.

  •  I don't get it. (0+ / 0-)

    How can they sue? On what grounds?

    edwardlcote.blogspot.com

    by Edward L Cote on Fri May 09, 2014 at 12:54:34 PM PDT

  •  Why is anyone against labeling? (6+ / 2-)

    If you think that GMO seeds/foods are the cat's meow, then you should be proud to put your label on the products.
    If you think that GMO's are hazardous to your health, you should have the right to choose not to buy/eat them.
    A lot of money is made by exporting US farm products overseas.  These products can be banned by European or other countries based on the possibility (or reality) that they contain GMO's.  Why risk a huge US export market?

    My personal opinion is that either:
    a) Monsanto knows that the majority of the people will not willingly consume their products, or
    b) Monsanto knows or strongly suspects health issues from GMO's and doesn't want anyone to be able to prove that GMO's caused the issues.  If there is no labeling, then it is that much more difficult to prove whether any specific food contained GMO's in the first place.
    In either case, fighting GMO labeling seems to be admitting that GMO's are not considered safe enough yet for consumption.

  •  Safe, schmafe ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... WHY is the industry so strongly opposed to allowing us to know what we're eating???

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Fri May 09, 2014 at 02:31:15 PM PDT

  •  Vermont is heaven on earth compared (0+ / 0-)

    all southern states and most northern states. You never hear anything bad about VT, just good stuff. When the governor freaked out about the deaths from heroin, people said, "See, VT is not perfect!" Well, what he said was that deaths had DOUBLED in his state.. there were only 18 the year before!! There are that many a week in my state!!

  •  Well, rebuttal is pretty easy (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nottaplecostomus

    "The government has no compelling interest in warning consumers about foods containing genetically modified ingredients."

    First, a label is not a warning unless it includes the word "warning". The food industry is trying to scream foul about their 'wholesome' products being libeled, but from what I can tell, they're the only ones tossing the word "warning" around in the context of labels.

    Second, the government has compelling interest in public health as our elected representatives. Unless the majority of us works to rescind all government involvement in public health, including ACA, FDA, USDA, etc., this reality will not change.

  •  Biotech professional in favor of labelling (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nottaplecostomus

    By arguing over whether GMO foods are safe or not, you fall into a trap set by the industry.  IT DOESN'T MATTER!!!!

    Jews have the right to know if their food is Kosher.  There is no laboratory test to tell the difference, but they still have that right, for reasons important to them.

    Americans demanded and won the right to know the geographical content of their cars and some of their clothes.  There is no scientific rationale for why it matters to the actual performance of the product--that isn't why people want to know.  They want to know because it affects employment, or child labor laws, or whatever.  That is their right!

    Stop arguing over the merits of the product.  Insist on labeling because you have the right to know, even if the products are perfectly safe.  It isn't about the science, it is about making our own choices based on complete information.  

    The Wanderer, from somewhere over the Pacific...

    by Wanderer1961 on Fri May 09, 2014 at 04:04:09 PM PDT

  •  political labeling (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aimeehs, Sir Roderick, Matt Mulligan

    Unfortunately Vermont's law appears to be a clone of the horrible labeling law we voted down in Washington. It requires no information whatsoever on the content of any transgenic components of food or the transgenes involved, so it is useless for assessing either health or environmental concerns. It's only purpose appears to be to serve the political ends of anti-GMO activists who want to lobby stores not to carry transgenic products, with the notable exception of cheeses and alcohol products. The exceptions for these industries are a vestige of European politics, where GMO labeling laws were carefully crafted to avoid labeling Europe's own alcohol and cheese products (more than 90% of cheeses are made with transgenic rennet, nearly all of which is manufactured in Europe), while labeling transgenic plants and their products that were perceived as American imports that would compete with European products. Though touted as promoting "free choice", as soon as the labeling laws took affect, Greenpeace, FOE and other misguided groups that stood to benefit by stirring up donors lobbied stores to remove the labeled products from their shelves and lobbied governments to outlaw GMOs (except the European ones) altogether.  Thus "free choice" became "no choice".

    Despite the fact that transgenic rennet has been wildly successful, being cheaper, purer, safer, more humane, and more ecologically sound than slaughtering calves for rennet, to my knowledge no cheese company has voluntarily chosen to label their product "produced with genetic engineering" because they are happy to avoid the fear-mongering, vitriol, and disinformation of anti-GMO activists.

    A sensible labeling law would seek to educate about genetic techniques, transgenes, and food content instead of attaching political labels that provide none of this information. An even more sensible labeling law would focus on known environmental hazards like herbicides and pesticides instead of transgenic techniques that are far more straightforward and predictable than the wealth of bizarre things that happen through "normal" breeding.

    Fear of transgenic technology arises largely because most of the public has so little idea of what happens in "normal" genetics and fails to understand how drastically 15,000 years of genetic engineering has already altered everything we eat and come in contact with (think of dogs, for example, which are way weirder than anything designed by Monsanto).

  •  Anyone who would buy food (0+ / 0-)

    from someone who doesn't want to tell you what is in that food is a fucking idiot!

  •  You say Power to the People (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catilinus

    but there is no people TO the people unless the people TAKE the power. One state governor does not equate to THE PEOPLE.

    I don't see THE PEOPLE standing up, yelling and screaming loudly enough on this or any anti-Citizens-United, anti-Monsanto or anti-Koch-Borthers issue. We read your excellent posts, nod our heads, shake a fist, and go back to what we were doing (watching Mad Men?). And as is being widely noted right now, we do NOT vote at mid-term elections.  

    •  I'm rec'cing your post littlemelch both to (0+ / 0-)

      Welcome you to DKOS and because I feel you're hinting at a solution and I'd like to know it.

      Welcome to Daily Kos. If you have any questions about how to participate here, you can learn more at the Community Guidelines, the Knowledge Base, and the Site Resource Diaries. Diaries labeled "Open Thread" are also great places to ask. We look forward to your contributions.
       ~~ from the DK Partners & Mentors Team.

      It will never happen for the first time until it does.

      by catilinus on Sat May 10, 2014 at 12:58:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The last big uprising that got any notice (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nottaplecostomus

      was Occupy Wall Street.  Apparently it made the right wing (who couldn't grasp what the screwed-over masses were bitching about) and the banksters 'uncomfortable'.  And since they deemed their comfort paramount, a lot of tear gas and pepper spray was enthusiastically applied, nationwide, by a gazillion cops all decked out in Darth Vador outfits.

  •  I'm allergic to GMO tomatoes (0+ / 0-)

    which means I can't eat tomatoes in any restaurant unless they can guarantee I'm eating an heirloom tomato.  It also cuts down on the type of Italian food I can have; no red sauce, and I make my own from scratch.

    When I say "allergic", I mean that I carry an Epi-pen with me, because I'd hate to die from something as stupid and useless as a GMO tomato, and I have yet to confirm whether I'm allergic or not to many other GMO foods.  I'd much rather they were banned than labeled, but I'll take labeled.

  •  This is so anti-science it's ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

    It's as bad as being against climate change or vaccinations.

  •  (C) image used without permission by KosMedia (0+ / 0-)

    Since I have not been apologized to from Kos Media,LLC then I cannot offer an apology for going public with this.

    The photographic image used in this Leslie Salzillo article is the copyright works of Thomas Schoeller photography. The image has been obtained and employed without the expressed written permission of the photographer. By law, I am granted exclusive rights as copyright owner. Kos Media,LLC certainly cannot provide a signed license agreement by Thomas Schoeller Photography since I have never been contacted for permission to use.

    For any visitors to this website, simply right click on the photo at the top that say "attribution: none specified"  and when you click "save image as" you will see "cloudland-road- Vermont-Thomas-Schoeller.

    I am highly offended that a media outlet that seems to be a grassroots for the people's rights preaching righteousness would be so ignorant of the law. I'm assuming this will be blamed on the free help.  

    Feel free to see my (c) protected intellectual property right here: thomas schoeller photography  

  •  Vermont (0+ / 0-)

    It is such a pleasure to be a resident of the most Progressive State in all fifty states. Not only do we have Bernie Sanders but our state is committed to have the first single payer-health care system in the nation.

  •  bees (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BeninSC

    I am a newbie here.  I have read Kos for weeks/months - keep coming back even tho time-consuming.  At 69 years old, I still work full time, self-employed. Because no retirement.  I have to say something about GMOs.  

    Safe to eat or not, they set up a domino effect which has become part of a global problem regarding raising crops. They are genetically engineered with non-plant genetic material (i.e., corn is not purely corn any more) in order to make the plant resistant to roundup.  The "sales pitch" was that GMOs would "increase yields" to produce more food for the expanding global population.  But they don't increase yields.  Also, then the crop requires the round-up to stop weeds.  Then more roundup and more pesticides are used.

    But nature has circuitry:  then the bees have poisoned flowers.  To some degree GMOs are part of the decline in bee population (google "colony collapse").  You can google GMOs+roundup+bees. Kill off the bees, and all crops suffer.  NRDC says that 30% of all crops (world) and 90% of wild plants, and 90% of some fruits, rely on bees for pollination.  In China, they are already pollinating fruit trees by hand on ladders with little brushes like water-color brushes.  It's a much bigger issue than people realize.  

    And, on top of all that, Monsanto wants federal legislation passed to ban non-GMO foods from saying they are non-GMO!!  The problem is much  more complex than people in general realize.  

    On top of all that, the GMO seeds pollinate non-gmo plants, and then the original seed itself is changed. We are at risk of destroying nature's own original seed bank.  Already, the origins of corn are almost or completely destroyed i.e. no "original" purely-nature-made corn seeds left.  It's all a very very big deal, planet wide. This is why Europe has banned GMO or required labeling.  This is part of why France banned all GMO  seeds recently.

  •  GMO labeling nonsense (0+ / 0-)

    This is nuts.  As useless as prop 65 signs in CA.  And bogus to beat.  Not much different than the nut cases who won't allow their children to be vaccinated.
    Get real folks. In the next 30 years billions (that's with a B) of people on our planet will die from starvation because of a lack of water to grow food.  Global warming is turning our agricultural bread baskets into lifeless deserts.  GMO crops on the remaining viable crop land may be all that saves some of us.
    Before you are ready to shoot this messenger please understand that this lone voice is a liberal democrat about as blue as you can get.  But I'm also a scientist who knows more about this stuff than a lot of you.
    If you want your loved ones to be safe there are plenty of issues that deserve your active attention.  GMO foods is NOT one of them.
    Flatmotor

  •  The Monsanto owners are attempting to overpower (0+ / 0-)

    others. That is the bottom line. They appear to believe they have the right to suppress the wishes of thousands of people. Is this any different than a fascist pursuit? I don't think so. The narrow, bully's view coming out of the Monsanto Board of Directors and CEO is reflecting a very sick and backward blind kind of thinking. It does not reflect forward thinking, progress, or safety or health in its decision to spend millions of its dollars on suing those who disagree with it. This is one of the most childish decisions I've seen a major corporation make in months. Childish, bullies - is this the reputation Monsanto wants? Well, it has it now. That is for sure. Building only hatred and divisiveness, that is what they've achieved. How noble a set of Business Models. Shame on you, Monsanto. Shame on you.

    "We can have Democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis D. Brandeis

    by 2BOrNot2B on Sun May 11, 2014 at 07:16:30 PM PDT

  •  Could Vermont expand (0+ / 0-)

    it's borders? Maybe if we all can't move to Vermont, Vermont could move to us?

    I love Vermont.

    "It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it." ~ James Danforth Quayle

    by Loraxe on Tue May 13, 2014 at 02:07:46 PM PDT

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