Vermont’s GMO Labels: A Boon To Big Business
Julie Kelly & Amy Porterfield Levy
Big Food companies are folding like a Wal-Mart suit on GMO labeling. After spending gazillions of dollars to stop GMO labeling laws, major brands like General Mills and Kellogg’s have made splashy announcements that they will now print “made with genetic engineering” on products that contain GMOs.
These big, bad companies are capitulating to the demands of one tiny state – Vermont – that will require GMO labels on most foods as of July 1. This lily-white state with a mere 600,000 residents has CEOs all over the country shaking in their Guccis as the deadline looms. A Senate bill to rescue these companies and save Vermonters from living with the consequences of a really stupid fucking law failed to get enough votes, so game on.
But instead of telling Vermonters to buy Pringles and Fruit Loops in New Hampshire and making the grocery stores in Vermont look like Venezuela for a few months, the companies gave in to anti-GMO bullies that pushed the shitty law. Anytime you have a whackjob like flying yoga teacher Jeffery Smith helping write state legislation, you know it’s gonna be a dumpster fire.
Well-known anti-GMO activists who earn fame and fortune by ripping the food industry cheered the news. Vani Hari, the self-described Food Babe who claims Rice Krispies might cause cancer, heaped praise on Kellogg’s and General Mills over social media.
(When you’re the Food Babe, it’s all about you.)
Pleasing self-righteous activists might be just part of the game plan here. Most small food companies simply can’t afford to comply with the law (labeling GMOs isn’t as easy or cheap as you think) and the penalties for mislabeling – up to a $1,000 per day – are way out of their budget. So there’s a good chance they’ll exit Vermont and the Big Food companies will have the state all to themselves (Bernie Sanders would shudder.)
We are a broad-based coalition representing the entire American agriculture food supply chain – from farm to fork. We are committed to increasing the public’s understanding about the science and safety of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and advocating for science-based policies that keep food affordable for every American.