MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — The Latest on implementation of Vermont's GMO labeling law:
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders says a bill on labeling genetically modified food under consideration in Congress is full of loopholes friendly to big food companies and should not be allowed to pre-empt Vermont's GMO labeling law.
Sanders and other Vermont leaders spoke at a Statehouse rally Friday to celebrate the implementation of Vermont's new law that requires foods that are genetically modified to bear labels saying so.
One big difference: Vermont's law imposes penalties of up $1,000 a day per product for food items that aren't properly labeled. Sanders says the proposed federal legislation contains no penalties.
Democratic Gov. Peter Shumlin told the crowd of about 150 people that agribusiness and food companies are hoping Congress will protect them from doing what's right.
Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin is asking supporters of the state's newly implemented law requiring labels of genetically modified food to take to social media. He's inviting people to use the hashtag WeLabeledGMOS to post pictures of properly labeled products and comment on the new law.
Vermont's 2014 law took effect Friday amid uncertainty because legislation pending in Congress would pre-empt Vermont's labeling requirement with a less stringent nationwide standard.
Shumlin and other leaders are planning a celebration of Vermont's newly implemented law at a noontime rally at the Statehouse.
Vermont's new law requiring genetically modified food to be labeled as such is set to take effect Friday, but it might soon be erased from the books by federal action.
Family-owned and chain grocery stores, co-ops and food companies say they're ready to comply with the law. It was enacted in 2014 with a two-year window for businesses to prepare.
But last week, the leading Republican and Democrat on the U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee announced a compromise bill that would force GMO labeling nationwide, but with less stringent requirements than Vermont's law.
At Montpelier's Hunger Mountain Co-op, which specializes in local and natural foods, general manager Kari ("KAHR-ee") Bradley calls it frustrating that Vermont's law could be pre-empted by federal legislation.