What a surprise! – today, Sunday March 20, 2016 the Boston Herald ran this headline :
Yes, you read that right.VERMONT.
You remember Vermont, it’s that itty-bitty state waaaaaaaay up north cranking out the maple syrup, home of Ben and Jerry’s.
When I think of Vermont, I always think of that quaint little inn on the old Newhart TV show, with it’s sleepy, slow paced living, eye-popping landscapes and quirky characters.(Remember Larry, Darryl and Darryl?) It doesn’t exactly inspire a Rock-em Sock-em Robot type of image.
So how did tiny Vermont – ranked 45th in size and America’s second least populated state – possibly bring one of the largest industries in the world to its knees, you ask?
Apparently on Friday, March 18, food industry giant General Mills announced it would comply with the state’s recently passed law that demands companies show consumers what’s really in their food – namely, GMOs.
That move was no doubt prompted by Wednesday’s U.S. Senate vote of 48-49 against a bill that would have blocked such state laws.
The struggle to get labeling of GMOs has been a hard one. Big states, like California, can’t seem to get it done no matter how much money and effort is applied. A few states, like Maine and Connecticut have passed laws saying they will require labeling, but only if other states require it.
Now along comes wee Vermont, with a big ole’pair of heavy and low hanging maple buckets, swaggering out to the O.K. Corral and showing everyone how it’s done.
That’s right, uh-huh.
Ok, so not everyone is cheering. According to the Boston Herald, the Grocery Manufacturer’s Association of America (GMA) has
” …challenged Vermont’s law in federal court, asking that the law be blocked until the case is resolved. That request was denied and is on appeal.”
The whining GMA complained in a statement:
“Food companies are being forced to make decisions on how to comply and having to spend millions of dollars. One small state’s law is setting labeling standards for consumers across the country.”
Poor, poor GMA. Millions of dollars, you say?
Well, boo – freakin’- hoo.
It’s past time GMO labeling was approved and upheld. It’s logical, sensible and truthful and it’s our right to know what’s in our food.
Vermont is the first to make it happen, but it’s not first time they’ve been first at something. Vermont is actually the first state admitted to the Union after the ratification of the Constitution. It’s the first state to outlaw slavery in the state constitution, and to provide for a state college. It was the first state to set up a parallel “domestic partnership” status (commonly referred to as “Civil Union”) for gay and lesbian couples. Also, it has more craft breweries per capital than any state in the US.
(Ok, so that last one isn’t a first, but it’s definitely a bonus!)
And so, this Crow is giving “4 Wings Up”to the heroic lawmakers of tiny Vermont.
You’ve reminded us of your steadfast determination, courage and commitment to those you represent. You inspire us all.
I imagine the fight could go on for a while, with the GMA and it’s handler, Monsanto(play evil music here) refusing to give up, spending many times more millions to combat the ruling than they would ever need to comply with it.
After all, when it comes to admitting failure, the bully’s creed is “never concede”.
Like the Black Knight from Monty Python’s Holy Grail, Monsanto/ GMA will likely thrash about, whining and cojoling even as it’s nasty little legs and arms are flayed away:
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)
King Arthur: [after Arthur’s cut off both of the Black Knight’s arms] Look, you stupid bastard, you’ve got no arms left!
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It’s just a flesh wound.
[the Black Knight continues to threaten Arthur despite getting both his arms and one of his legs cut off)
King Arthur: What are you gonna do, bleed on me?
Black Knight: I’m invincible!
King Arthur: …You’re a loony.
King Arthur: Look, you stupid bastard. You’ve got no arms left!
Black Knight: ‘Tis but a scratch!
King Arthur: A scratch? Your arm’s off!
Black Knight: No, it isn’t.
King Arthur: What’s that, then?
Black Knight: [after a pause] I’ve had worse.
King Arthur: You liar!
[King Arthur has just cut the Black Knight’s last leg off]
Black Knight: All right, we’ll call it a draw.
(edited for this post, read the full scene here)
Hey, even if they continue the fight, in the long run, we all know they won’t win. Like Arthur says, they’re loony.
Whereas Vermont…now, they’re very much “crow-y”, and I should know!
So, here’s to you, Mighy Vermont. I raise a Switchback ale to you….Caw!
Well done, friends.