Healthy Living Supports Vermont’s GMO Labeling Bill

katypretty“Close to 30 years ago, when I started Healthy Living, words like ‘local’, ‘organic’, and ‘sustainable’ were not in our lexicon… but over the decades these words and concepts have become a huge part of our culinary, agricultural and environmental culture. When GMO’s first entered the conversation, I had an epiphany. For years, driving from my rural home past farms, I always noticed little signs in farmers’ fields at the end of every row of corn. I always wondered what they were all about. I realized this was the beginning of GMO experimentation… and right in our own back yard! What was going on here?

Knowledge and understanding of GMOs is in its infancy. Whether they’re good for us, dangerous to our environment, harmful to the day-to-day operation of farmers… we are truly just starting to get to the bottom of all this, and that is why I’ve been reluctant to join one side or another. When I hear other retailers making claims that they only sell non-GMO foods or only use non-GMO ingredients in their foods, it further enforces my refusal to make such claims. Because at this point in time, we simply don’t know. I just can’t get behind making claims like that!

But what made me come around was this simple statement – ‘people deserve to know what is in their food’. It reminded me of why I started Healthy Living in the first place; so that people could buy simple, real, understandable food for their families. Vermont H.112, which is Mandatory GMO Labelling simply ensures that food sold in stores all over Vermont will include a simple message stating ‘this product may include ingredients containing GMO’s.’ I can get behind that!” – Katy Lesser, Owner

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On Wednesday Feb 26th at the Vermont State House, a press conference was held to discuss a proposed bill that would require companies to clearly mark foods that have ingredients that may be genetically modified. We are proud join other local businesses to officially support the passing of this bill in Vermont. Healthy Living Co-Owner, Eli Lesser-Goldsmith had the honor of speaking during the conference in support of labeling GMO foods. Other supporters of the bill that spoke in favor of GMO labeling were Ben & Jerry’s, Liz Lovely, Black River Produce, Two Guys in Vermont, New Chapter, Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility and VPIRG.

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“We are really in the beginning stages of understanding what this GMO issue is all about.  And that’s why We’ve been reluctant to get involved in this discussion.  When we hear food manufacturers and retailers making claims that they are not using GMO’s, or are preparing to go “GMO-free” we just cannot figure out how they can make those claims, and so we have been quite silent on it.  But what brought us around on the issue was one simple sentence, “people deserve to know what’s in their food.”  We have agreed with that since the day we started Healthy Living Market almost 30 years ago, when things like “organic” “local” “GMO” were not part of the culinary language.  Today we still believe in that and as a result, we have signed on in support of the this bill, that will ensure that people are alerted to what’s in their food.  We like the bill because it doesn’t make any other claim than that and to us this is a big, do-able, simple step forward.  We really need to move forward this way because we are up against huge companies with vast power, lobbying dollars, and political power.  Moving too fast, making too many claims and demands will only mire us in their deep pocketed legal system.  Vermont has chunked it down to one facet of the argument which we think is the wisest, most effective way to go.  Healthy Living Market is proud to stand in support of this GMO labeling bill.” – Katy, Eli and Nina