Connecticut’s GMO labeling law hinges on challenge to Vermont law

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The fate of Connecticut’s 2-year-old law to require the labeling of GMO foods may soon be decided, either in a federal courtroom or in Congress.

A federal appeals court in New York City is scheduled to hear oral arguments in a challenge to Vermont’s GMO law. If the food industry wins in that case, Connecticut’s labeling statute would also be in jeopardy.

The GMO labeling law that Connecticut passed in 2013 had some unusual conditions attached. Connecticut’s law can’t take effect until at least four other states also approve GMO labeling, the combined population of those states must equal at least 20 million and at least one of those states must border Connecticut.

Massachusetts lawmakers are now poised to fulfill at least one of those conditions by passing GMO labeling legislation. In New York, anti-GMO activists say they plan to try to push through their own labeling bill in 2016.

Among the opponents of GMO labeling laws are the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Foods Association and the National Association of Manufacturers .

Those four industry organizations are plaintiffs in the lawsuit seeking to overturn Vermont’s GMO labeling law.

Connecticut is one of eight states that have filed briefs in support of Vermont in the GMO lawsuit. Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said the lawsuit hinges on the issues “of free speech and legislative prerogatives.”

Jepsen’s legal staff argued that allowing the food industry groups to block Vermont’s law “threatens to undermine a wide range of labeling and public reporting laws” for food, pharmaceutical products and consumer goods and services.

Read full, original post: Connecticut’s GMO Law In Jeopardy

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