Vermont playing (organic, free-range) chicken with the grocery industry over GMOs.

They shall make a food desert, and call it Vermont: “Vermont residents might have to go hungry — or drive into New Hampshire, upstate New York, or even Boston, for food — because of their state’s new GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling law that takes effect July 1, 2016.” The basic problem here is that Vermont’s new law will allegedly fine companies for non-labeled products that show up in Vermont stores, even if the manufacturer didn’t put them there*.  Admittedly, that’s what the Grocery Manufacturers Association is claiming; also admittedly, Vermont’s response is effectively ‘label your products nationally.’  That food retailers might instead decide that it makes more sense to stop selling processed food in Vermont has apparently not yet occurred to that state’s officials. And yes, you can make that call when a target market is less than 700,000 people.  And also, yes: you cannot force somebody to engage in commerce**.

All of which may be moot if Congress passes that voluntary federal labeling program thing of [mc_name name=’Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000602′ ]’s this year; it would effectively supercede the Vermont law, and the usual suspects are already screaming about Monsanto conspiracies, yadda yadda (I suspect that spending a year in Monsanto’s PR department would burn off a million years in Purgatory, easy). As you might have guessed, I’m not particularly impressed with the anti-GMO people; their particular brand of apocalyptic religious fanaticism rivals only the anti-nuke crowd for sheer scientific illiteracy***.  Watching them scream at the House, scream at the Senate, and then scream at the President – who after all promised to push for GMO labeling laws, all the way back in 2007 – should give me plenty of amusement this summer, albeit not as much as when Barack Obama signs Pompeo’s bill and tells the anti-GMO people that he kept his promise.  I hope that they keep paramedics on hand for that presser, because there’s going to be people stroking out from sheer betrayed rage…

Via Instapundit and/or Ed Driscoll, depending on how you look at it. Image via Shutterstock.

Moe Lane (crosspost)

*Yes, that particular attitude is a lot like the perennial progressive desire to hold firearms manufacturers liable for crimes committed that involve guns.  What, did you think that that particular fetish went away for Vermont progressives, simply because they live in a state that prides itself on its responsible, common-sense open gun laws?

**No, really.  There was a Supreme Court case about that, remember? Halbig v. Burrell. 5-4 ruling establishing that the Commerce Clause does not extend to forcing people into engaging in economic activity.  I’ve always said that the Democrats were going to regret losing that more than they’d enjoy keeping the mandate for a few more years.

***This would be the point where somebody accuses me of being a paid shill for Big Frankenfoods.  To which my response would be Wait, do they actually pay? Do you have a good contact number for somebody who could set that up? – Because I love getting paid to write things that I would have, anyway. After that, I’d offer the accuser a grilled-cheese sandwich and a beer, then laugh when he took it and never tell him why.