Organisations representing the food sector have launched a fresh appeal against Vermont state legislation requiring the labelling of genetically modified organisms on food products.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, together with the Snack Foods Association, International Dairy Foods Association and National Association of Manufacturers, had asked for a preliminary injunction to block Vermont's implementation of a new labelling law that would mean foods containing GMOs would have to flag this on their packaging. However, last week a court ruled against the motion.
"The court’s opinion in denying our request to block the Vermont law opens the door to states creating mandatory labelling requirements based on pseudo-science and web-fed hysteria," said Pamela Bailey, president of GMA. "If this law is allowed to go into effect, it will disrupt food supply chains, confuse consumers and lead to higher food costs."
The court found that Vermont could pass a state labelling mandate because no federal law regarding the Food and Drug Administration's authority over food labelling pre-empts state action. The GMA and other food industry associations are therefore pushing for the introduction of federal legislation that puts GMO labelling on a voluntary footing.
"This court ruling shows why Congress should pass the voluntary uniform GMO labelling bill quickly and federally preempt state mandatory GMO laws," Bailey added.
Vermont's GMO labelling law is due to come into effect in July 2016.
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