A Right to Know About GMOs: What American Meat Institute v. USDA Means for Vermont's Food Labeling Law

January 13, 2015

Food labeling is a common sense part of everyday life in America, but just how much and what labeling is acceptable under the First Amendment’s compelled speech protections is a more controversial topic. In May of 2014, Vermont adopted a new law to label foods produced using genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Several manufacturers feel GMO labeling violates their
First Amendment rights and are challenging this law. Although there are some arguments in their favor, the recent precedent set by the D.C. Circuit in American Meat v. USDA does not bode well
for the manufacturer’s case. This Recent Development argues that under this new precedent the Vermont District Court should uphold the Vermont GMO labeling law as an acceptable use of compelled commercial speech that does not violate manufacturer’s First Amendment rights.