For Immediate Release
Statement on Grocery Manufacturers Association Lawsuit to Preempt Vermont GMO Labeling Law
FINLAND, Minn. - The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), a multi-billion dollar lobbying group representing more than 300 food, pesticide and pharmaceutical companies, today filed suit in U.S. District Court in the State of Vermont to preempt Vermont's H.112, a law requiring mandatory labeling of foods sold at retail containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). H.112 also prohibits food companies from labeling GMO foods as “natural” or “all natural.”
The Organic Consumers Association’s National Director, Ronnie Cummins, issued the following statement:
Today’s move by the Grocery Manufacturers Association to prevent Vermont from requiring food companies to disclose the truth about what they put in the billions of dollars’ worth of food they sell to consumers is a desperate attempt to protect corporate shareholder profits at the expense of consumers’ rights and health. More than 60 other countries have either banned GMOs, or require mandatory labeling of foods that contain them. Consumers in the U.S. have every reasonable right to the same information that consumers in other countries have about foods and ingredients that have not been subjected to independent, pre-market safety testing.
Beyond the truth and transparency in labeling issue, every U.S. citizen should be concerned when a multi-billion dollar corporate lobbying group sues in federal court to overturn a state’s right to govern for the health and safety of its citizens. Every precaution was taken to ensure that Vermont’s H.112 would withstand any and all legal challenges, and legal experts agree that that the bill will hold up in federal court. The GMA is merely attempting to inflict damage on Vermont in retaliation for passing H.112, and to intimidate other states that are considering similar legislation or ballot initiatives.
The GMA’s membership includes more than 300 companies in the business of selling junk food, pesticides and drugs. The OCA today calls on consumers to boycott the products sold by all of those companies, including the organic and natural brands whose parent companies are members of the GMA. We also call on consumers to support those companies that demonstrate solidarity with consumers by withdrawing their membership support from the trade association. Marketing statistics show that boycotts impact sales, and that this is the best way for consumers to influence corporate decision-makers.
The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) is an online and grassroots non-profit 501(c)3 public interest organization campaigning for health, justice, and sustainability. The OCA deals with crucial issues of food safety, industrial agriculture, genetic engineering, children's health, corporate accountability, Fair Trade, environmental sustainability and other key topics. We are the only organization in the US focused exclusively on promoting the views and interests of the nation's estimated 50 million organic and socially responsible consumers.