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Boston, MA – Today, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed into law the nation's first "no strings attached" GMO food labeling bill, set to go into effect on July 1, 2016. Similar legislation is being considered by 29 other states, including Massachusetts.
In Massachusetts, momentum around GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling continues to build. Currently, nearly half the legislature has pledged support for GMO labeling and more than 23,000 Massachusetts residents have signed a petition urging legislators to pass a labeling bill. Additionally, nearly 300 Massachusetts business and organizations have endorsed the effort, including 160 farms and local food retailers.
“Vermont has set the standard for GMO labeling,” said Martin Dagoberto, Campaign Coordinator for MA Right to Know GMOs, who traveled to Vermont to attend the bill signing. “There is undeniable momentum behind GMO labeling across the northeast with efforts underway in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Maine. People want to know what's in the food they eat, and it's exciting to see state governments taking action."
Last month, the Massachusetts legislature’s Committee on Health Care Financing passed out of committee, H. 3996, a GMO labeling bill. If signed into law, the bill would ensure that all foods sold in Massachusetts that contain genetically engineered ingredients would be clearly labeled. The bill is now on its way to its next committee, likely the House Committee on Ways and Means.
“We know that from Massachusetts, to Vermont, to California and Oregon, people want to know what’s in the food they eat,” said Deirdre Cummings, Legislative Director at MASSPIRG. “Vermont has become a national leader in the effort to give consumers the information they need to make important health decisions for their families. I’m confident Massachusetts will follow suit.”
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