Tag Archives | Vermont

Monsanto Threatens To Sue Vermont If It Passes GMO Labeling Bill

monsanto foodAre Monsanto and the state of Vermont headed for a historic showdown in court? Or are the corporation’s threats enough to make lawmakers scuttle plans for a law that the public is overwhelmingly demanding? Alternet writes:

Despite overwhelming public support, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if it passes.

What happened to the formerly staunch legislative champions of Vermont’s “right to know” bill? They lost their nerve after Monsanto representatives recently threatened that the biotech giant would sue Vermont if they pass the bill. [Officials] expressed concern about Vermont being the first state to pass a mandatory GMO labeling bill and then having to “go it alone” against Monsanto in court.

During the hearings the Vermont legislature was deluged with calls, letters, and e-mails urging passage of a GMO labeling bill – more than on any other bill since the fight over Civil Unions in 1999-2000.

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Monsanto Threatens to Sue Vermont if Legislators Pass GMO Labeling Bill

MonsantoWill Allen and Ronnie Cummins write on AlterNet:

The world’s most hated corporation is at it again, this time in Vermont.

Despite overwhelming public support and support from a clear majority of Vermont’s Agriculture Committee, Vermont legislators are dragging their feet on a proposed GMO labeling bill. Why? Because Monsanto has threatened to sue the state if the bill passes.

The popular legislative bill requiring mandatory labels on genetically engineered food (H-722) is languishing in the Vermont House Agriculture Committee, with only four weeks left until the legislature adjourns for the year. Despite thousands of emails and calls from constituents who overwhelmingly support mandatory labeling, despite the fact that a majority (6 to 5) of Agriculture Committee members support passage of the measure, Vermont legislators are holding up the labeling bill and refusing to take a vote.

Instead, they’re calling for more public hearings on April 12, in the apparent hope that they can run out the clock until the legislative session ends in early May.

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Federal Judge Rules Vermont Can’t Shut Nuclear Plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

The Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant

Should the feds really be able to force Vermonters to accept proven radiation leaks in their state? Matthew L. Wald reports for the New York Times:

A federal judge on Thursday blocked Vermont from forcing the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor to shut down when its license expires in March, saying that the state is trying to regulate nuclear safety, which only the federal government can do.

The judge, J. Garvan Murtha of United States District Court in Brattleboro, Vt., also held that the state cannot force the plant’s owner, Entergy, to sell electricity from the reactor to in-state utilities at reduced rates as a condition of continued operation, as Entergy asserts it is now doing.

The nuclear operator filed a lawsuit last year challenging the constitutionality of a state law giving the Vermont Legislature veto power over operation of the reactor when its original 40-year license expires.

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Vermont Passes Country’s First Single-Payer Healthcare Law

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin

Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin

Vermont Gov. Pete Shumlin “treats healthcare as a right and not a privilege.” Well done Vermont, well done. Healthcare Finance News reports:

In what he described as “both an opportunity and an obligation,” Vermont Gov. Pete Shumlin has signed the country’s first single-payer law, setting the state on a course to be first with a publicly financed healthcare system.

Shumlin, who campaigned for governor on promises to pursue a single-payer system for the state, took little more than four months since his January inauguration to set the state on that course.

“We gather here today to launch the first single payer system in America, to do in Vermont what has taken too long – to have a healthcare (system) that is the best in the world that treats healthcare as a right and not a privilege, where healthcare follows the individual not the employer,” he said at the bill signing, held May 26 in the state’s capital of Montpelier.

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Meet the People of Vermont Who Want to Secede from the Union

Welcome To VermontChristopher Ketcham writes on Time.com:

The President on Wednesday may have reassured Americans that the state of the Union is “strong,” but, just the week before, a group of Vermont secessionists declared their intention to seek political power in a quest to get their state to quit the Union altogether.

On Jan. 15, in the state capital of Montpelier, nine candidates for statewide office gathered in a tiny room at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, to announce they wanted a divorce from the United States of America. “For the first time in over 150 years, secession and political independence from the U.S. will be front and center in a statewide New England political campaign,” said Thomas Naylor, 73, one of the leaders of the campaign.

A former Duke University economics professor, Naylor heads up the Second Vermont Republic, which he describes as “left-libertarian, anti-big government, anti-empire, antiwar, with small is beautiful as our guiding philosophy.” The group not only advocates the peaceful secession of Vermont but has minted its own silver “token” — valued at $25 — and, as part of a publishing venture with another secessionist group, runs a monthly newspaper called Vermont Commons, with a circulation of 10,000.

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