Vermont rBST labelling

Dairy packers won a major victory when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ordered the Vermont District Court to grant an industry-requested injunction against the state's mandatory rBST labeling statute.

Vermont's law, which took effect in September 1995, required labeling of any dairy product that may contain milk from cows treated with the rBST hormone. Manufacturers had to conduct monthly retail inspections to ensure the "blue dot" labels were in place. (The packages themselves bear only a blue dot; in-store signs explain what the blue dot means.) With no authority to enforce the law, Vermont must now decide what to do next. The International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), GMA and NFPA had sought an injunction before the law went into effect, but were denied. The Appeals Court said the District Court had "abused its discretion" in denying the injunction. The Appeals Court also recognized the proven safety of products containing milk from rBST-treated cows. The FDA has specifically stated that rBST requires no additional labeling.

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