Vermont.
Vermont.

Vermont is now closer to being the first state in the nation to require foods containing genetically modified ingredients to be labeled, thanks to a ruling by a U.S. District Court Judge. However, the recent ruling also allows for an industry-led coalition to proceed with its lawsuit to stop the ban from going into effect.

Christina Reiss, U.S. District Court Judge in Burlington, ruled against the industry-led groups’ efforts to block the law from going into effect. The law is scheduled to be enacted on July 1, 2016. As a result, the case is likely to go to trial

The 84-page decision showed the judge both agreed and disagreed with both sides of the argument. As a result, both Attorney General William Sorrell and the Grocery Manufacturers Association scoured the ruling to find where its case was helped or hurt.

 GMA claims the law is unconstitutional because it imposes new speech requirements on food manufacturers and retailers and that the law would set a precedent for each state having its own set of GMO labeling laws, making it extremely difficult for food manufacturers to comply.

Sorrell indicated to the media that he was hopeful over the judge’s ruling, indicating that the judge had held to the “heart and soul” of the labeling law. The decision also indicates that the courts agree that states have a right to pass GMO labeling laws.

Other GMO labeling bills are moving through other state legislatures. A public hearing on Maine’s bill is scheduled for April 30.