Representing four food industry trade groups, the Grocery Manufacturers Association on June 12 filed a lawsuit against the state of Vermont, challenging the constitutionality of the state’s new GMO labeling law. Vermont’s Legislature passed the first no-strings attached, mandatory GMO labeling law, set to take effect in July 2016.
The new labeling law “exceeds the state’s authority under the United States Constitution and in light of this GMA has filed a complaint in federal district court in Vermont seeking to enjoin this senseless mandate,” GMA said in its complaint.
Anticipating such lawsuits, Vermont’s GMO labeling law also established a legal “Defense Fund” of $1.5 million. Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell on June 12 said, “it would be a heck of a fight, but we would zealously defend the law.”
To support the legal defense fund, Vermont ice cream producer Ben & Jerry’s, in the process of switching to all non-GMO ingredients, renamed its fudge brownie ice cream Food Fight! Fudge Brownie. During the month of July, the company will contribute $1 from each purchase at its Burlington and Waterbury scoop shops to the state’s Food Fight Fund.
“It is worth noting that Organic was the original ‘NON-GMO’, so always look for the USDA Certified Organic Seal on the label,” said Tom Harding, Founder of AgriSystems International, and Founding President of the Organic Trade Association.