VPR/John Dillon

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders joined consumer activists on Thursday to call for mandatory labeling of food made with genetically modified organisms.

The labeling legislation is pending in the state Senate. An outreach effort by the Vermont Public Interest Research Group yielded 30,000 signatures in support of the bill.

VPIRG celebrated the end of its summer-long, door-to-door campaign on the GMO issue with a rally on the Statehouse steps.

Canvass Director Leah Marsters said a 60 person crew went all over the state to collect signatures.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza

With the support of some members of the Vermont business community, the House on Friday morning finalized a bill to require labeling food that contains genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The vote was 99-42.

Hundreds of businesses and all 17 of the state’s food cooperatives have expressed their support for GMO labeling.

VPR/Kirk Carapezza

The state Legislature has taken a major step toward changing the way food is labeled in Vermont.

On Thursday, the House approved legislation to require labeling of food that contains genetically modified organisms – or GMOs. Boosted by public support, lawmakers said the benefits of GMO labeling and the right of consumers to know what’s in their food outweighs the risk of a potential lawsuit brought by the dairy and biotech industries. If passed, Vermont would become the first state to require GMO foods to be labeled.

The House Transportation Committee voted 7-4 on Wednesday in favor of a Senate bill that would allow the state to grant driver identification cards to Vermont residents who are in this country illegally.

Last week, testimony before the committee turned sour when some farm owners questioned some of the migrant farming community’s behavior. Migrant farmers and their advocates characterized that approach as a last-ditch effort to block the legislation from moving forward.

AP/Toby Talbot

Before the Vermont House closes the legislative session sometime next month, lawmakers could still vote on a bill that would change the way food sold in Vermont is labeled.

Time is short, but a key House committee turned quickly this week to genetically engineered organisms – or GMOs – as it considered a bill that would require labeling of such products. If passed, though, the measure could become a legal challenge.