About the VT Right to Know GMOs Campaign

We All Have a Right to Know What’s in Our Food

VPIRG hosted a GMO Labeling Campaign event at the Vermont State House Thursday advocating a strong GMO labeling bill be passed through the state Senate in the 2014 legislative session.

Consumers have a right to know what’s in the food we eat and feed our children, including whether food is genetically engineered. We all should be able to make informed choices, and have the ability to choose whether to buy genetically engineered food or not.

We Currently Eat Genetically Engineered Food, But We Don’t Know It

A genetically engineered food is a plant or meat product that has had its DNA artificially altered by the inclusion of genes from other plants, animals, viruses, or bacteria, in order to produce foreign compounds in that food. This type of genetic alteration is not found in nature. Today, the majority of corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered to produce pesticides and/or withstand high doses of weed killer.  Much of our sugar also comes from GE plants.  Ingredients made from these crops are found in countless packaged foods such as cereals, baby foods, breads, chips, and many other products. And new GE ingredients and foods are being developed and marketed all the time. For example, a new variety of GE sweet corn is now being marketed, and GE salmon is currently being considered for approval by the FDA.

Without proper labeling we have no way of knowing if the food we buy has been produced using genetic engineering.

soybeans_806x806The Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods

Unlike the strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs, the safety of genetically engineered foods for human consumption is not adequately tested.  A growing number of studies indicate that genetically engineered foods may contain novel toxins, allergens, and other substances that can present real risks to our health.  Labeling of GE foods will make it possible to identify and track any adverse health reactions that may occur as a result of consuming GE foods.

As of October 2013, there is still no scientific consensus on the safety of GMO foods.

PrintMuch of the World Already Requires Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods

More than 60 countries including the European Union, Japan and China already label genetically engineered foods. Vermont should be the leader on this important issue here in the United States.

2014: The Time is Now

2014 is Vermont’s chance to see GMOs labeled! In 2013 Vermont became the first state to pass a GMO labeling bill through a legislative chamber. Now it’s time to take the support of over 30,000 Vermonters and finish the job by passing H.112 in the Senate.

The bill is currently in the Senate Agriculture Committee. In the event of a winning vote it will proceed to the Senate Judiciary and Senate floor. This is a critical session for the bill, and all hands are on deck within the Vermont Right to Know Coalition. We’re working hard to give citizen activists the tools and forums they need to speak their right to know to lawmakers. The time is now to take action any way you can. Check out these ways to be part of a historic victory.

CP_option_nutritionfactsMore Information for Consumers

We didn’t used to label foods with calorie, nutritional value, or allergen information, but we do now, and most consumers use this information every day to make informed choices in the supermarket. Our bill simply requires food producers to identify foods which have been genetically engineered on the label.

Little to No Cost to Consumers or Food Producers

This year’s proposed legislation is intended to have little to no cost impact on consumers or food producers. It simply requires that foods produced with genetically engineered ingredients be disclosed on food packaging or labels on store shelves for genetically engineered foods.

How You Can Help

In order to pass this legislation, we need the help and support of all Vermonters. Sign our petition to get involved and learn more about the campaign. Then, contact your legislators and make sure they know where you stand and write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. If you want to do more, email us at vtrighttoknowgmos@gmail.com for more ideas.

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