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Beyond the Rows is a Monsanto Company blog focused on one of the world’s most important industries, agriculture. Monsanto employees write about Monsanto’s business, the agriculture industry, and the farmer.
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We Said What in Vermont?

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A number of online reports – AlterNet and Organic Consumers Association, among others – have posted articles claiming that Monsanto “has threatened to sue” the state of Vermont if a GM labeling bill is approved. Wrong.

A few facts:

We have not testified on the bill in question, nor have we made any public statements.

A legislative committee held hearings about the labeling effort and invited a number of groups to provide their input. A representative from BIO, the industry trade group, did testify before the committee, and did say that the bill raised constitutional questions that would need legal review. But there was no threat to sue.

Additionally, the House Agriculture Committee heard similar information regarding constitutional questions from the Vermont Attorney General’s office and the Vermont Legislative Council.

So this isn’t as exciting a story as what the various publications have reported.

But it does happen to be the accurate one.

4 Responses to "We Said What in Vermont?"

  1. Why not just label your products as genetically engineered? What constitutional questions do you have, and why don’t consumers get those same constitutional rights? We WANT to know if we’re buying GMO foods/seeds. In the meantime, we can’t trust your company’s lack of transparency.

    Reply
  2. It was pretty clear from the start that there was nothing to this “story.”

    A nameless Monsanto representative theatened a nameless Vermont public official?

    Really?

    Reply
  3. “if you are so proud of your products then why would labeling GMO foods UNDERMINE consumer confidence?”

    Because literally every other mandated label is health-related, that’s why. Nutritional information on food is labeled because it is relevant to health. Allergens are labeled because they are relevant to health. Alcohol is given a special warning sticker because its effects are relevant to health. Consumers know this– it’s an obvious pattern– so mandatory GMO labeling will falsely imply that GMOs are unhealthy.

    There are an infinite number of arbitrary factors that people could want to know about food. That’s why we have *voluntary* labeling– the market will label foods when enough people care about a particular characteristic. That’s why you already have organic labeling. Millions of people care passionately about eating Kosher or Hallal food, yet religious Jews and Muslims aren’t screaming at the top of their lungs that the government has to enforce religious labeling of all food products.

    Reply

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