Vermont marching along to become the first state to label genetically modified food.

vermontThis week the Vermont Senate sent a message with its 26-2 vote approving a () labeling bill. The bill would require that all foods that contain ingredients be labeled.

“We are saying people have a right to know what’s in their ,” emphasized Senate President Pro Tempore John Campbell, D-Windsor.

The next step is another vote in the Senate before the bill meanders back to the House. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin has already specified that he is more than likely to sign the bill.

Sen. David Zuckerman, P/D-Chittenden, upon introducing the bill on the Senate floor pointed out that questions remain about the safety of the foods because the U.S. and Drug Administration relies on testing done by the producers rather than independent sources.

Two senators, Sens. Peg Flory, R-Rutland, and Norm McAllister, R-Franklin, voted against the bill for different reasons. Flory cited legal reasons and expressed concern about the state being sued. McAllister, a farmer, expressed his personal belief that he does not think that are bad. “This labeling bill will not tell them anything other than ‘ something’,” McAllister said. “This does not educate them about what they’re eating. The nutritional value is exactly the same.”

The senators appear to have been swayed by their constituents who overwhelmingly support labeling. Sen. Bobby Starr, D-Essex/Orleans, chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said he, also had been unenthusiastic about labeling, but at every public meeting he heard from Vermonters who wanted a labeling law. “Lo and behold, would float to the top of the debate within those meetings,” he said.

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