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GMA Appeals Court Ruling on Vermont Labeling Law

GMA Press Contact

Roger Lowe

office: 202-295-3954

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) today said it will appeal an April 27 federal court ruling denying the organization’s motion to halt implementation of Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling law pending further litigation.  

The District Court’s ruling against GMA’s motion for a preliminary injunction means that Vermont can continue implementing the labeling law, which is set to go into effect in July 2016.

GMA filed a notice of appeal in court today in Vermont federal district court – the first formal step to appeal last week’s ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  A legal brief outlining GMA’s grounds for the appeal will be filed with the appellate court in the weeks ahead.

“The court’s opinion in denying our request to block the Vermont law opens the door to states creating mandatory labeling requirements based on pseudo-science and web-fed hysteria,” said Pamela G. Bailey, president of GMA. “If this law is allowed to go into effect, it will disrupt food supply chains, confuse consumers and lead to higher food costs.” 

In her preliminary ruling, while not definitively deciding the issue on the merits, the judge offered the view that Vermont could pass a state labeling mandate because no current federal law regarding the Food and Drug Administration’s authority over food labeling preempts state action.

 “This court ruling shows why Congress should pass the voluntary uniform GMO labeling bill quickly and federally preempt state mandatory GMO laws,” Bailey said.  

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Based in Washington, D.C., the Grocery Manufacturers Association is the voice of more than 300 leading food, beverage and consumer product companies that sustain and enhance the quality of life for hundreds of millions of people in the United States and around the globe. 

Founded in 1908, GMA is an active, vocal advocate for its member companies and a trusted source of information about the industry and the products consumers rely on and enjoy every day.  The association and its member companies are committed to meeting the needs of consumers through product innovation, responsible business practices and effective public policy solutions developed through a genuine partnership with policymakers and other stakeholders. 

In keeping with its founding principles, GMA helps its members produce safe products through a strong and ongoing commitment to scientific research, testing and evaluation and to providing consumers with the products, tools and information they need to achieve a healthy diet and an active lifestyle.  The food, beverage and consumer packaged goods industry in the United States generates sales of $2.1 trillion annually, employs 14 million workers and contributes $1 trillion in added value to the economy every year.