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Vermont Will Not Enforce Food Labeling Law

Aug 03, 2016

Following President Obama’s signing of S.764, which established a national disclosure standard for bioengineered food, the Vermont Attorney General’s office announced that it will no longer enforce Act 120, Vermont’s law that required the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering.  Act 120 was in effect only for the month of July, but it forced some food companies selling products in the state to alter their labels and caused others to pause shipments to Vermont while the federal law was pending in Congress.

“We’re pleased that the state quickly announced that it will not enforce the preempted law,” said Clay Hough, IDFA senior group vice president and general counsel. “With that added clarity, our members can rest assured that they are no longer required to label their products to meet the provisions of Vermont’s law.”

Under the federal law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has two years to draft regulations to implement the labeling standard. In his statement, Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell said his office will advocate for clear on-package labels “as the labeling fight shifts from the legislative process in Congress to the regulatory process at the USDA.”

The Coalition for Safe Affordable Food, of which IDFA is a member, has pledged to “work to ensure that implementation is squarely in line with Congressional intent and in a manner that best serves consumers, farmers and food companies.” IDFA also intends to work independently with USDA to ensure that the new regulations will work well for dairy foods companies.

For more information, contact Hough at or Emily Lyons, IDFA director of regulatory affairs and counsel, at

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