By Associated Press - Thursday, July 23, 2015

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin said Thursday people who want to know what’s in their food will win the fight against an industry that is trying to block laws that require the labeling of some foods made with genetically modified organisms.

Shumlin made the comments after the U.S. House passed legislation that would prevent Vermont and any other state from requiring that package labels indicate the presence of GMOs.

“Millions of Americans are demanding the right to know what is in their food,” said Shumlin who backed the Vermont legislation he signed that would require GMO labeling in the state starting next summer.

He said efforts by the food industry to keep people from knowing what’s in their food only makes them more determined to demand the information.

“You may have the money, but we have the people,” Shumlin said of the food industry. “And the people always win.”

The bill that passed the House is backed by the food industry, which has fought mandatory labeling efforts in several states and is suing the state of Vermont to block the law. The legislation, which passed 275-150, would prevent states from requiring package labels to indicate the presence of GMOs.

The food industry argues that food made with GMOs is safe. Supporters of labeling say not enough research has been done on GMO foods to ensure they are safe to eat; others also say large corporate farms benefit from pushing GMOs at the expense of the environment.

U.S. Rep. Peter Welch, a Democrat and Vermont’s lone member of the House, fought the bill that passed Thursday.

“The issue with this legislation is not whether GMOs are safe,” Welch said in a statement. “The issue is whether consumers have a right to know what’s in the food they are feeding their families.”

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