To date, three states - Maine, Connecticut and Vermont - have passed GMO labeling laws, but unlike those in Maine and Connecticut, the Vermont law (Act 120) has no ‘trigger clause’ and will take effect in July 2016 regardless of action from other states, unless a legal challenge mounted by the GMA et al manages to block it.
The GMA has multiple issues with Act 120, but its main argument - outlined in a lawsuit filed in June - is that it violates the First Amendment because it compels manufacturers to “convey messages they do not want to convey” and prevents them from “describing their products in terms of their choosing, without anything close to sufficient justification”.
However Vermont state attorney general William H Sorrell says Act 120 does not violate the First Amendment because the disclosures it mandates are “purely factual” and the law “does not require manufacturers to state a particular viewpoint, such as whether GE foods are good or bad”.
Both sides agree that a nationwide solution is better than a patchwork of state regulations on GMO labeling. But they do not agree on what that labeling standard should be and whether it should require labeling of all foods made with GM ingredients, or if, as proposed by the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act (HR 4432), labeling should be mandatory only if FDA finds GE foods to be unsafe or materially different from foods made with GM ingredients (click HERE).
As for the wider debate on GMOs - check out the story below, which summarizes a recent live debate featuring speakers for and against genetically engineered foods: