Music legend Neil Young (right) stands behind Gov. Peter Shumlin in support of Vermont Food Fight Fund,a safeguard for Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law.
On July 19, Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin along with music legend and activist Neil Young urged support for the Vermont Food Fight Fund, which was established to protect Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law from those waging a legal battle to overturn it.
Young announced a $100,000 donation to the fund, bringing the total raised so far to $550,000.
“Vermonters take our food very seriously and I am proud that we are the first state in the nation to implement this common-sense labeling requirement,” Gov. Shumlin said. “Support for the Food Fight Fund is support for the consumer’s right to know. Huge corporations fighting to keep consumers in the dark are suing the state in a series of vigorous and costly lawsuits. The Food Fight Fund will defend against the lawsuits and is the classic David and Goliath story of a small state versus the big food industry.”
“Promise of the Real and I are proud to stand in solidarity with the people of Vermont and support efforts to uphold the people’s will in the legal battle against corporate bullying. GMO labeling will stand,” Young said.
The governor signed the bill requiring labeling of packaged foods produced with genetic engineering into law in May of 2014, and it will take effect on July 1, 2016. Maine and Connecticut have also passed GMO labeling laws, but their enactment is contingent upon surrounding states doing the same. Food manufacturers are challenging Vermont’s law in court and legal proceedings are underway. The Food Fight Fund will help defray the costs of the lawsuits brought by large corporations and will ensure the state has the necessary resources to vigorously defend the law.
“If we win in Vermont it will pave the way for labeling laws across the country. If we lose, so too does the consumer right to know and the power of people over profits,” Governor Shumlin said. “While a state like ours is at a disadvantage when it comes to the money we have to spend on litigation, together we can lead the nation in this important fight. I am thankful for the Vermont Right to Know Coalition for its efforts to get this law passed as well as to supporters around the globe and organizations like Moveon.org and SumOfUs.org, and responsible corporations including Chipotle, Stonyfield Farm and Ben & Jerry’s, to name just a few.”