In less than three weeks, Vermont will enact a historic mandate that requires labels on products containing genetically modified ingredients. The no-strings-attached bill, which the country’s second smallest state passed on May 2014 and goes into effect July 1, has rippled across the food industry and has sparked a bitter and expensive food fight from opponents of the law.
But with only 17 days to go, it looks like Big Food has unenthusiastically surrendered despite spending millions upon millions to fight state-by-state labeling mandates in court and to lobby Congress.
Big Food believes that labeling GMO products for one state without labeling them for the 49 others would be costly, warning that labels would force the buck onto the consumer, or even scare them away completely. Although the food industry has consistently maintained the health and safety of GMOs, the overwhelming majority of Americans support labels on foods with such ingredients.