Vermont Governor Signs GMO Food Labeling Into Law

Vermont’s governor on Thursday signed a bill into law that will require the labeling of genetically modified foods — hailing it as the first such law in the nation.

Under the new law, food offered for retail sale that is entirely or partially produced with genetic engineering must be labeled as such by July 2016.

“Vermonters take our food and how it is produced seriously, and we believe we have a right to know what’s in the food we buy,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “More than 60 countries have already restricted or labeled these foods, and now one state — Vermont — will also ensure that we know what’s in the food we buy and serve our families.”

In the absence of federal action, other states have introduced similar legislation or ballot initiatives, according to the non-profit Center for Food Safety.

Maine and Connecticut passed laws requiring labeling, but they won’t go into effect until other states pass GMO-labeling laws. Vermont is the first to pass a “no strings attached” bill, the watchdog group said.

Supporters of the law expect it will be challenged in court.