Vermont’s governor has signed a bill into law that will require GMO food packaging labels. Under the new law, retail food produced with genetic engineering—partially or entirely—must be labeled as such by July 2016.

Although GMO foods were approved in 1995, the FDA has never required any labels to indicate them as such. Governor Peter Shumlin hailed the Vermont law as the first of its kind in the nation.

Gov. Shumlin predicted that the law will be challenged. Cathleen Enright, executive vice president for food and agriculture for the trade group Biotechnology Industry Organization, insisted that GMO foods are just as safe as any other crop. She also warned that this required labeling could make food costs for the average household increase to as much as $400 a year.

“And these same GM crops have enabled farmers to produce more on less land with fewer pesticide applications, less water and reduced on-farm fuel use,” Enright added.


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