Vermont: First US state to mandate its own GMO crop regulations

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A proposed change would move oversight of GMOs from the FDA to the USDA.

On June 17, 2019, Vermont Governor Phil Scott signed a new law, which creates a committee to review new genetically-engineered seed traits before they can be sold, distributed or used in the state. This law makes Vermont the only state to require additional approval of seed technology on top of the federal process.

The new law requires Vermont’s Secretary of Agriculture, Food and Marketing (AAFM) or a designee to convene a four-person committee to review all new genetically-engineered seed traits.

According to Cary Giguere, director of Public Health and Agricultural Resource Management for AAFM, Vermont’s House and Senate Agriculture committees met with AAFM before the bill was signed into law.

Related article:  Viewpoint: CRISPR crop revolution provides counterpunch to 'misinformation' promoted by anti-GMO campaigners

However, input from outside stakeholders was limited.

“To the best of our knowledge, there was never a noticed hearing or committee meeting to discuss the added language and any issues or concerns about it,” says Pat Miller, director of state affairs for the American Seed Trade Association. “Agricultural stakeholders …. were not given an opportunity to weigh in on policy.”

While not explicitly stated in the bill, both Giguere and Rep. Carolyn Partridge indicated that the impetus behind the bill was to give Vermont a way to regulate dicamba-resistant corn if it was to be commercially sold.

Read full, original article: Vermont Sets Precedent with New Policy

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