Donald Keelan's article, "Vermont's Lust for Litigation," appearing in the Friday June 20, 2014 edition of the Manchester Journal, places the blame for potential GMO litigation on the Government of the State of Vermont, rather than where it really belongs. Mr. Keelan seems to suggest that when the people of Vermont, through its legislators, pass a law protecting its citizens, when sued by big business, it should not defend. He suggests instead, that because there is a cost, Vermont should not defend such a lawsuit, and allow big business to win by default.
Vermont's GMO legislation requires labeling, it does not ban GMO foods. (Hopefully that will come in the future.) Producers are only required to label their products. It should not be a big burden for the food industry to simply inform whether or not their products are genetically modified.
Think about it, what is Monsanto afraid of? Does it believe consumers will prefer to buy food that is not genetically modified? I am sure that Mr. Keelan, in protection of his own family when shopping for food stuffs, will select "organic" over "sprayed," and, he will, like most of us, reject untested GMO products in favor or non-GMO. That is exactly what Montsanto and other agra-businesses fear, and the reason a suit against Vermont's legislation may be instituted.
One has to believe that the mega food and seed producers are desperately afraid that Vermont's role as the "mouse that roared" will spread from state-to-state and harm their enormous bottom lines.
Mr. Keelan further goes on to speculate that outside counsel will be engaged at "billing rates north of $600 an hour." He has no basis for such speculation, nor can he predict whether or not the Vermont Attorney General's office is up to the fight that he speculates is in the offing.
Yes, it may cost to protect this foresighted legislation. The majority of Vermonters, as embodied in the labeling law, care what food goes on the table. Defending a lawsuit in no way would exhibit a "lust for litigation."
It demonstrates instead, a lust to protect the choice to have a healthy life.