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Dairy Facts 2016

Citizens' Right to Sue Under Vermont GMO Law Delayed to 2017

May 18, 2016

New language passed by the Vermont legislature will delay the citizen suit provision in the state’s labeling law for foods containing genetically modified organisms or ingredients.

This provision allows Vermont citizens to sue companies for improperly labeled foods. It will now go into effect on July 1, 2017, a full year after the state will begin to enforce the new requirements. 

“While companies will still be required to comply with Vermont’s GMO law on July 1, 2016, delaying these suits helps dairy companies in the short term,” explained Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel. “This new measure gives dairy companies a little relief before citizens can challenge their labels.”

The state will be able to enforce the law on all products, including those introduced before July of 2016, in the state beginning in January of 2017, but has said that it will focus initial enforcement on willful violations.

“Is Your Company Ready for the Vermont GMO Labeling Law?”

To keep dairy companies up-to-date on these and other changes and aspects of the complex labeling and recordkeeping requirements of the new law, IDFA’s labeling and regulatory experts will hold a webinar on June 9, from 2:00-4:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Back by popular demand, the webinar, “Is Your Company Ready for the Vermont GMO Labeling Law?,” is an expansion of IDFA’s popular webinar held in February.

“The webinar will include additional information and new example product evaluations to ensure your compliance strategy is on the right track,” said Lyons, a presenter of the webinar. “It will also walk participants through the different aspects of Vermont’s law, explain the evaluation needed to determine which products must be labeled or are exempt and discuss the law’s strict recordkeeping and labeling requirements.”

The webinar is complimentary for IDFA members.

For more information about the webinar, contact Maria Velasco, IDFA meetings coordinator and registrar, at

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