Monthly Archives: March 2013

VTRTK announces two new Grassroots Action Forums

It’s time to ramp up the grassroots action! Let’s show our legislature and our Governor that there has never been a better to time to stand up for Vermont and protect the interests of its citizens. Let’s make 2013 the year we pass a GMO labeling law in Vermont!

Last month, VT Right to Know visited White River Junction, Brattleboro, Montpelier, Middlebury, and Burlington to speak to crowds of concerned citizens about GMO Labeling. Almost 6000 Vermonters have signed the petition to require labels on GMO’s and hundreds have contacted their legislators. The Vermont food coops, Ben & Jerry’s, VBSR, Lake Champlain chocolates, and a growing list of specialty food producers and grocers have announced their support of the campaign.

To find out more, join VT Right to Know for a second round of forums across the state. Speakers will provide information about the issue of GE labeling, updates on the legislative process, avenues for citizen activism, and, of course, GE-free refreshments. Sign up for the forum closest to you here: http://bit.ly/GMOActionMTG

Bennington
March 27, Wednesday, 6:30-8:30
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
108 School Street
Sponsors: Spice -n- Nice Natural Foods

St. Johnsbury
March 28, Thursday, 6:30-8:30
St. Johnsbury House
1207 Main St # 101
Sponsors: St. Johnsbury Food Coop, Natural Provisions Market

Questions? Contact Cat Buxton at the Cedar Circle Farm – 802-359-3330 cat@cedarcirclefarm.org

The VT Right to Know Coalition responds to Shumlin’s concerns about H.112

Last week, Governor Shumlin made the news with some remarks about his concerns around H.112, this year’s GMO-labeling legislation. In particular, he was concerned with the potential for a lawsuit by out-of-state interests once the bill is passed.

In a recent Times Argus opinion piece, Right to Know advocates Andrea Stander, Dave Rogers, and Falko Schilling set the record straight, clarifying some of the finer points of the legislation. In particular, the article emphasizes the hard work done by Vermont’s House Agriculture Committee in refining the legal findings of the bill and the differences between this year’s bill and the 1994 legislation on milk that caused much of the confusion. Read the article here.

GMOs are in your news!

Since last week, when the House Agriculture Committee passed H.112 for GMO-labeling with an 8-3 vote, GMOs have been a hot topic in Vermont news. As the movement continues to get more and more press, it’s important to make sure we hear from the people this bill affects …you! Read what they’re saying, then write a letter to the editor in response to make sure your voice is being heard, too.

This week we also heard some very exciting news on the national front. Whole Foods Markets announced that ALL genetically engineered products in their stores will be labeled by 2018. This is a win for consumers and it shows the growing power that grassroots campaigns like ours are having across the country.

Of course, not all news is good news. Last week, Governor Shumlin gave us his take on GMO labeling in Vermont. In response we heard loud and clear from a number of Vermonters that the Governor needs to support the legislature’s efforts to pass mandatory GMO labeling. Here are a couple of responses published last week.

It’s up to us to show Governor Shumlin that we can win this! Learn more about the case that’s confusing our legislators, then send in a letter to the editor. It’s time for Vermont to take a stand against biotech bullying!

Big News! H.112 for GMO labeling passes out of House Agriculture

On March 1st, after weeks of testimony, the House Agriculture Committee passed H.112 (this year’s GMO labeling bill) with a vote of 8-3. While this is the first of many hurdles the bill has to clear in the legislative process, it is a very positive sign for all of us who support labeling genetically engineered foods.

This is another great success in a week where we held five grassroots forums around the state, and talked to hundreds of Vermonters. Thanks to everyone who came out and committed to taking action in your community. Over the next several weeks, legislators will be hearing about GMO labeling from their constituents on a regular basis. Help carry this momentum forward for the second half of the legislative session by being one of those active constituents!

Make sure your legislators hear from you during town meeting week.

As we head to Town Meeting week, make sure you show our legislators on the Agriculture Committee some appreciation for passing this crucial legislation, and reach out to your representatives to make sure they support your right to know. There will be a lot happening as we go forward and we will keep you in the loop about the latest at the State House and the role you can play in labeling genetically engineered foods in Vermont.

Read more on VT Digger: http://vtdigger.org/2013/03/01/house-committee-moves-labeling-law-for-ge-foods-forward/

Votes:Harvey Smith – No
Bill Stevens – Yes
Kristina Michelsen – Yes
Dick Lawrence – No
Kate Webb – Yes
Daniel Connor – No
Tess Taylor – Yes
Tristan Toleno – Yes
Carolyn Partridge – Yes
John Bartholomew – Yes
Cynthia Martin – Yes
Teo Zagar – Yes