By Reformer Staff

MONTPELIER >> The Vermont Attorney General's Office announced Wednesday that following President Obama's signing of S.764, which establishes a "National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard," it will no longer be enforcing Act 120, Vermont's first-in-the-nation law requiring the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering.

"We successfully defended our law for two years, and as a result many companies are now disclosing that their products are produced with genetic engineering," said Vermont Attorney General William H. Sorrell. "We hope they will continue to do so going forward, not because our law requires it, but because it is the right thing to do."

Sorrell stated that Vermont's law spurred the federal government into action, requiring mandatory labels for GE foods. "It is unfortunate that corporate interests were ultimately able to water down Vermont's clear disclosure standard through the passage of this federal law."

Among other things, the newly passed law could permit companies to provide a scannable code, accessed with a smartphone, rather than a clear on-package disclosure. Under the federal law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has two years to draft regulations to implement the labeling standard.

"My office intends to take an active role as the labeling fight shifts from the legislative process in Congress to the regulatory process at the USDA," said Sorrell. "We will work hard to give consumers the same access to information, in plain English, that they had under Vermont's law."