GMO bill includes legal defense fund

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MONTPELIER - A Vermont House committee appears comfortable with Senate changes to a bill to require labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Eight of 11 members of the House Agriculture and Forest Products Committee voted in favor when the committee's chairwoman asked for an informal show of hands.

The biggest Senate change would set up a $1.5 million fund to help provide legal defense for a GMO labeling law in the event of an expected lawsuit or suits by industry.

The House panel's vote followed an explanation of the Senate changes by the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Richard Sears.

Gov. Peter Shumlin has said he's likely to sign the bill, which would implement labeling by July of 2016 and likely make Vermont the first state to have such a law.


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