State News
November 25, 2014

Clif Bar, other food makers side with Vermont on GMO labeling

By John Herrick, VTDigger.org

Three national businesses are helping to defend Vermont’s GMO labeling law. The companies told a federal court last week that the state statute, which requires food manufacturers and retailers to label certain products containing genetically modified ingredients, would not be difficult to implement.

Organic energy bar manufacturer Clif Bar and Company, filed an amicus brief in support of Vermont’s law. Rhonda Miller, the company’s senior sourcing manager, said she has 24 years of experience in packaging.

“In my opinion, there is nothing posed by the small changes required by the Vermont law that would put anyone out of business or cause an overwhelming logistical hurdle,” Miller said.

Miller of Clif Bar and Company said the label changes would take at most six months.

“In my professional opinion, a change such as the one mandated by the Vermont law would require nothing more than a simple artwork change and would not be time intensive,” Miller said.

The other two manufacturers that filed briefs supporting Vermont’s GMO labeling law were Beanfields Snacks and Ben & Jerry’s. Additionally, others have helped with funding, such as the Colorado-based Mexican restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., who donated $50,000 earlier in the fall.

Four other groups filed amicus curiae briefs in support of Vermont’s labeling law: the Vermont Public Interest Research Group and the Center for Food Safety represented by an attorney at the Vermont Law School, the Vermont Community Law Center, and Free Speech for People, Inc.

No date for oral arguments has been set. The state estimates that arguments may be heard by mid-December, after which it could take months before a decision is issued.

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