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Vermont governor signs law to require labeling of GMO foods

MONTPELIER, Vermont -- Vermont's governor signed a law Thursday that puts the state on the path to be the first in the U.S. to require labeling of genetically modified foods, and he promptly announced an online fundraiser to fight expected legal challenges from the food industry.

The Vermont law takes effect in mid-2016, but opponents said shortly after the bill signing that they would file a lawsuit. The Grocery Manufacturers' Association said government has no compelling interest in warning consumers about GMO foods.

Another obstacle to the state law looms in Congress, as Republicans work on a bill that would forbid states from passing and enforcing laws requiring GMO labeling.

Critics of GMO foods consider them environmentally suspect and a possible health threat. But many in the food industry say the food is safe, the technology boosts food production, and its use is less environmentally harmful than traditional farming methods.

Gov. Peter Shumlin announced the launch of a website to help the state raise funds toward a court battle with agribusiness or biotech industries.

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