Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Genetically Modified Foods in VT

Today, two bills dealing with GE Foods were introduced. The first, I discussed in my last posting, and aims to protect and inform consumers. The other GE bill would require all farms using GE alfalfa to register with the Agency, 60 days prior to use of the seeds. This bill would seek to track alfalfa, as well as contain its impact. The bill requires farmers using GE alfalfa to notify all neighboring farms within a three mile radius. The passage of these two bills would mean protections for farmers and for consumers on GE food products within our state.
Today, Jared and I sat down with Will Stevens to see how we could help with this effort. The food labeling bill was given to Human Services, which means getting to know that committee and labeling on the bill's behalf there. The alfalfa bill will be up in House Agriculture. Rural Vermont is thinking of also having an event to discuss GMOs more generally, maybe a panel/ potluck so that we can get the community's input as we move forward.
Although these bills do not do it all, they are a step in the right direction and demonstrate a positive type of legislation: laws that are not overly divisive, yet make a fast improvement. I am very happy to be back at work- there is so much (too much) to do!

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