Vermont has raised more than $160,000 in private donations to help defend what would be the nation’s first GMO labeling law. While the majority of these private donations have come from individuals, national advocacy groups are also lending their support. And last week, two consumer advocacy groups filed a motion to intervene on behalf of Vermont to defend the law in court.
Vermont’s law requires food manufacturers and retailers to label certain products containing genetically modified ingredients starting in 2016. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and other national trade groups are suing Vermont, claiming the law is unconstitutional.
State officials estimate spending as much as $8 million to defend the law. The state is accepting donations to a special fund at foodfightfundvt.org. Vermont has hired a Washington, D.C., law firm to help defend the law. Russell, Englert, Orseck, Untereiner & Sauber was awarded a $1.465 million contract this month. The private donations to date equal about 9 percent of that contract.
Sarah Clark, deputy commissioner of the Department of Finance and Management, said even with minimal marketing of the GMO fund, “we’ve really seen a significant increase in the last few weeks.”
The state’s response to the lawsuit is due Aug. 8.
Read the full, original article: Private donations boost GMO legal defense kitty to $160,000