Vermont is the first state to pass a law requiring foods sold within it’s borders to have GMOs labeled.
This law, which originally passed in 2014, will go into effect on July 1, 2016. This small law is creating big ripples, and with the July deadline looming, major food manufacturers are changing their packaging to include voluntary GMO labeling on a national scale to meet Vermont’s requirements.
Why not make the change for just the food they sell in Vermont? The current retail distribution system is set up on a national scale: manufacturers sell to distributors, and these distributors sell to many different retailers throughout the US. Any state-specific labeling changes would add big costs both in packaging and in the segregation systems that would be required throughout the distribution channels.
This means that the laws for this one tiny state has made big food manufacturers go through some major labeling changes. Even though a national GMO labeling law hasn’t passed through federal government, the requirement for this one state is essentially having the same effect as a national requirement, and large brands are preparing for the changes they will have to make.