WASHINGTON, June 12, 2013 – A GMO labeling bill overwhelmingly passed through Maine’s House of Representatives yesterday, signaling a possible sea change in the labeling laws of Northeastern states.
Last week, Connecticut passed a similar labeling law that would only be implemented should four other states, including one contiguous to Connecticut, pass comparable laws.
The Maine law shares a “trigger clause” nearly parallel to Connecticut’s – if passed, it would only take effect should four Northeastern states pass their own GMO labeling laws.
If Vermont is successful in passing a GE labeling law, the entire Northeast could be closer to a labeling law. Vermont’s House of Representatives became the first American legislative body to pass GMO labeling legislation when it voted 99-42 in favor of a bill in May. And some producers complain that printing different labels for different regions of the country would prove too costly – meaning as the Northeast goes, so could go the country.
The Maine Grocers Association has publicly renounced the law, calling mandatory labeling “unnecessary public policy, expensive for Maine farmers, processers and manufactures, grocers and retailers, and the state to implement and enforce,’’ according to Shelley Doak, the group’s executive director, who spoke at a hearing in April.
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