Vermont’s GMO labeling law causing increased costs, confusion for food makers

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The country’s first law requiring mandatory GMO labels is slated to go into effect in Vermont on July 1 . . .Facing fines up to $1,000 a day per product, food makers from giants like General Mills Inc. to regional businesses like Vermont Fresh Pasta are making big adjustments, many of which extend beyond the state’s borders.

Vermont is a tiny market for most companies, but the integrated nature of supply chains gives it an outsize effect. On [March 18], General Mills said it is slapping GMO labels on its packaged food nationwide, saying it would be too complex and expensive to create a separate distribution network for the 626,000-person state of Vermont.

. . . .

Some companies, fearing such labels will be a sort of scarlet letter and scare off consumers, are replacing ingredients altogether. Vermont Fresh Pasta, . . .said it has swapped out canola oil, which typically contains GMOs, for olive oil. . .

“It’s sort of a better-safe-than-sorry idea,” said co-owner Ken Jarecki. He said his company’s costs increased by 10%, and using olive oil so far hasn’t boosted sales.

. . . .

Other businesses appear confused about whether they need to use special labels.

. . . .

Blue Valley Gourmet founder Christine Sawyer said she’s still unsure if she’ll have to label her fruit spreads. Some contain soy lecithin, typically a GMO ingredient, but it may be in a small enough quantity that they’re exempt.

. . . .

Ms. Sawyer said that in addition to cost, “sourcing new ingredients is so time-consuming.” Rather than add GMO labels or search for alternative ingredients, “I will probably just discontinue those flavors.”

Read full, original post: GMO Labeling Law Roils Food Companies

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