January in Vermont means several things: snow, skiing and snowboarding. The days get a little longer, but it's so cold you can pack a pint of your favorite Ben & Jerry’s in your parka for a snack and it will stay frozen all day. We think that’s better than packing any boring energy bar.
With January comes the return of the Vermont State legislature. We love politics in Vermont, it’s small scale politics at its best. Our legislators are part-time, they don’t have staff, and they meet in Montpelier, which is the smallest state capital in the country.
With this small, local, part-time type of politics, it may seem like Vermont can’t make much of a difference, but we’d like to point out that Vermont was the first state to abolish slavery, enact civil unions, and was the first state to legalize same sex marriages without the courts telling us we had to. Vermont is on a path to be the first state to implement a universal single payer health care system. As history shows, we aren’t afraid to be pioneers.
In the same trail-blazing spirit, we are now hopeful that our legislators will make Vermont the first state to require the labeling of GMO food. Our state House has already passed the bill and now we need our Senate to follow suit. We are working hard with the Vermont Right to Know Coalition to build grassroots support for passage of the bill in the Senate. GMO labeling in Vermont is great opportunity to differentiate our state and its $1.2 billion specialty food industry, which we are a part of. Unlike California and Washington, where a lot of out of state money was thrown around by opponents of GMO labeling, this is not likely to be persuasive here in the Green Mountain State.
If you are a Vermonter, we hope you will join us in taking a stand for your right to know what’s in your food. If companies are required to label farmed salmon or concentrated orange juice, surely they can be required to tell us if their using GMO ingredients.
To learn more about position on GMOs here: benjerry.com/values/issues-we-care-about/our-stance-on-gmo