On September 18, 2014

State receives over $300,000 for GMO defense fund (a.k.a. “the food fight”)

By John Herrick, VTDigger.org

Vermont has raised more than $300,000 in private donations since May to help it defend its GMO labeling law, Act 120, in federal court.

SumOfUs, a nonprofit issue advocacy organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., made the largest donation—$78,000—to a defense fund to help the state pay its legal bills.

National trade groups this summer sued the state, saying that the law, which requires food manufacturers and retailers to label certain products containing genetically engineered ingredients starting in 2016, is unconstitutional. State officials estimate it could cost as much as $8 million to defend the law.

The state has received more than 1,000 private donations to defend its labeling law, according to the state Department of Finance and Management.

The Colorado-based Mexican restaurant chain, Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc., donated $50,000 last week. The Vermont ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s also donated $5,000 through the sale of “Food Fight Fudge Brownie” ice cream.

Other high-profile donors include liberal advocacy group MoveOn.org and the private foundation Ceres Trust—each donated about $50,000. Vermonters have donated about $16,000 to date, approximately 5 percent of the total amount.

Two consumer advocacy groups, the Center for Food Safety and the Vermont Public Interest Research Group, have asked for permission to join the state in its defense of the law in federal court. The Grocery Manufacturers Association and other trade groups in the case asked the court to reject this motion. Vermont does not oppose the advocacy groups’ motion to intervene in the case.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Program to store carbon in forests grows in the Green Mountain State

June 19, 2024
By Cecilia Larson/Community News Service Editor’s note: The Community News Service is a program in which University of Vermont students work with professional editors to provide content for local news outlets at no cost. Forged by the American Forest Foundation and the Nature Conservancy, a program that pays people to set aside forest to store carbon…

Two prescription drug bills aim to lower pharmaceutical prices

June 19, 2024
Governor Scott signed both into law By Peter D’Auria/VTDigger New legislation signed by Gov. Phil Scott May 30 will help patients afford prescription drugs, as rising pharmaceutical prices push up health care costs across the state.  As legislators scrambled to wrap up the legislative session earlier this month, they passed two bills that aim to reform…

Gov. Scott announces $1.7m in transportation fund grants 

June 19, 2024
Three projects in Windsor County are among the 11 to receive awards  Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont Downtown Development Board announced Monday, June 17, the allocation of $1,787,989 in Downtown Transportation Fund grants to support projects to improve safety, access, and transportation in 11 Vermont downtowns and villages across seven counties. “Revitalizing our downtowns is important…

Money available to protect against future flooding, no cost to towns

June 19, 2024
On Monday, June 3, Governor Scott and Vermont Emergency Management announced $90 million of federal funding is now available to Vermont municipalities to implement hazard mitigation measures that reduce future flood risk. These funds are available to all Vermont towns with no local match requirement. The federal Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) provides funds to…