Free Speech For People has filed an amicus brief before the federal district court in Vermont in defense of Vermont’s recently-passed law requiring the labeling of food produced with genetic engineering. The law requires food sold in Vermont that was produced with genetic engineering to be labeled “produced with genetic engineering.”
Major agribusiness and industrial food manufacturers and processors, represented by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Snack Food Association, the International Dairy Foods Association, and the National Association of Manufacturers, have challenged the law under the First Amendment, claiming that it forces them to “speak” against their will.
Our brief sets forth fundamental First Amendment principles, and argues that food labeling requirements do not merit the full protection of the First Amendment. The First Amendment was designed to protect democratic participation in self-government and promote individual autonomy of expression, not to exempt commercial vendors from labeling requirements. In fact, Vermont’s law promotes First Amendment values by giving Vermonters accurate and useful information that enables them to exercise their autonomy by making informed purchasing decisions.