(NaturalNews) America is at a crucial tipping point in the fight for food labeling transparency, as the state of Vermont could be the first in the union to require mandatory labeling of genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). But Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and the Vermont state legislature need some serious prodding from the public to make it happen, as Monsanto's intimidation and threat tactics are on the verge of killing this important first step towards real food freedom.
Similar to the ballot initiative that Californians will have the opportunity to vote on this fall (http://www.naturalnews.com), H.722, also known as the Vermont Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, would require that all GMOs and products that contain GMOs be properly labeled. And H.722 is supported by more than 90 percent of Vermonters, and also has overwhelming support from the Vermont House Agriculture Committee (http://www.naturalnews.com/035628_Monsanto_Vermont_GMO_labeling.html).
So what is stopping the bill from passing? According to the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), threats from biotechnology giant Monsanto have stonewalled the bill, and caused Gov. Shumlin and the others to backtrack on their support for passing it. So it appears as though the bill will simply die in committee, that is, unless enough supporters of GMO labeling speak up and demand that H.722 be considered for a vote.
The primary reason why legislators and Gov. Shumlin appear to be delaying a vote on H.722 is based in their newfound intimidation about having to deal with a potential lawsuit. Though it would have absolutely no merit legally, a Monsanto-launched crusade against GMO labeling could end up becoming a costly endeavor for the state of Vermont, and one that its public servants appear unwilling to deal with.
Vermont legislators back off from GMO labeling out of fear
According to OCA, Carolyn Partridge, chairman of the Vermont House Agricultural Committee, has backed off from supporting H.722, presumably out of fear over retribution from Monsanto. And Gov. Shumlin has taken a similar stance, as his office's response to feedback about the bill now expresses concerns about "federal legal scrutiny."
But the citizens of Vermont, OCA, and millions of GMO labeling supporters across the country are not backing down, and have even expressed willingness to raise support for a legal defense fund to support Vermont in fighting Monsanto.
"Over the past four days we've already received commitments of more than $50,000 to defend Vermont or any other state that passes a GMO labeling bill," said Katherine Paul, fundraising coordinator at OCA. "The only way to back down a legal bully like Monsanto or the Biotechnology Industry Organization is with a bigger legal stick and the moral high ground. Let's make sure we have both of those."
You can help support this crucial endeavor in Vermont by calling Gov. Shumlin's office at (802) 828-3333 and urging support for H.722. You can also support OCA's Millions Against Monsanto campaign, which is fighting for food transparency in all 50 U.S. states, by visiting: http://organicconsumers.org/monsanto/donations.cfm
We cannot let our representatives buckle under pressure from the biotechnology industry to capitulate to their tyrannical demands. GMOs need to be labeled, and We The People need to make it happen.
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