Shumlin: GMO labeling good, bill bad
Gov. Peter Shumlin said Monday that a bill on labeling genetically modified foods could do its cause more harm than good.
The governor addressed a crowd of more than 100 in the South Station restaurant during the Rutland Region Chamber of Commerce’s legislative breakfast.
Shumlin heard from Chamber of Commerce Executive Vice President Thomas Donahue against the bill on the grounds it would harm a number of local businesses, like Westminster Cracker, which uses genetically modified Canola Oil. Then a member of the audience countered that many people locally want to know what they are buying, as evidenced by the success of the farmers market.
Shumlin said he supports labeling, but that the bill resembled one dealing with a milk-production hormone that was passed during his time in the Legislature and signed by then-Gov. Howard Dean.
“The food industry took us to the Second Circuit,” Shumlin said. “It was not only called unconstitutional for some very good reasons, but we had to pay the legal fees.”
Shumlin said the “anti-labeling” forces would like him to sign the bill because they know they can defeat it in court and likely set back the labeling movement nationally.
Shumlin also told the crowd about his push for greater STEM education and his efforts to fund transportation improvements in the state.
The Governor described how, when he took office, employers would tell him they were looking at layoffs. Now, he says, they are telling him they have jobs to offer but cannot find trained Vermonters to fill them.
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