Vermont GMO Labeling Fight

Monsanto Scumbags Strike Again

Written by Brian Hicks
Posted April 6, 2012

And now for this week’s installment of “Why Monsanto is Horrible.”

Monsanto is essentially holding the state of Vermont hostage by threatening to sue the state should its legislature pass a bill to require the labeling of all GMO products. It should be noted that Vermont’s Agriculture Committee and the majority of the public approve of this bill, but the legislature is putting off on making a decision because of this threat from Monsanto.

With only four weeks left before the legislature adjourns for the year, there is a possibility of the bill just dying despite literally thousands of emails pouring in in favor of the bill.

Monsanto’s main Vermont minion Margaret Laggis has been routinely using completely unfounded claims in order to try and sway public opinion towards Monsanto. One gem from her testimony was her saying that if this law were to pass, there wouldn’t be enough corn, canola and soybean seed for Vermont farmers to plant. In addition, she tried to bend the truth by saying the FDA had done plenty of feeding tests on Frankenfood. She was later corrected when Dr. Michael Hansen of the Consumers Union explained in his testimony that all of the GMO feeding tests submitted to the FDA were conducted by Monsanto and other Frankenfood producers and not by the FDA itself.

Nice try, Margie!

Laggis also made the outrageously ridiculous claim that a Canadian study showed that 90% of pregnant women had high levels of a genetically modified bacterial pesticide in their blood was because they ate “too much organic food” during pregnancy. Again, Dr. Hansen shot right through Laggis’ lies by saying the Bacillus thuingensis (Bt) bacterium used by organic growers is very different than Monsanto’s genetically modified strain which was the strain that showed up in those tests.

What’s happened to all of the formerly bullish Vermont legislators on this issue? Some have skulked away, others have sheepishly said the Vermont public has a “low appetite” for any bills and some have brought up that being the only state with this kind of GMO labeling bill would mean a solitary fight against the famously litigious Monsanto.

Vermont has an admirable history of label trailblazing and with Monsanto ruining it.

In 1994, Vermont became the first state in the Union to requite labels on all milk and dairy products in which Bovine Growth Hormone was used on the cow. However, Monsanto successfully sued the decision in federal court, saying that dairy corporations have a “first amendment right” to not to say whether or not they are injecting cows with Bovine Growth Hormone, you know, the chemical that’s linked to deteriorating health in the cow and increased rates of cancer in humans. In fact, it’s banned in Canada and Europe, but not in the good ol’ US of A.

The bottom line is, sadly, a simple one: Monsanto continues to dictate public policy. Not that this is breaking news.

But the fight’s not over. California’s citizens got so angry with their state’s legislature’s inaction on requiring GMO labeling that they are trying to collect 850,000 signatures so it can be on the citizen’s initiative ballot this November. Should this initiative pass, it would require labeling GMOs and also ban the all too common practice of labeling GMO food as natural.