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Case Detail


Grocery Manufacturers Assoc. v. Sorrell
On August 5, 2016, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (acting pursuant to an agreement of the parties) dismissed this appeal as moot, because Congress adopted a statute in July 2016 that superseded the Vermont law being challenged in this case on First Amendment grounds. The Vermont law required labeling of foods that contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. The new statute provides that all GE-ingredient labeling requirements (if any) will be entrusted to the federal government. WLF filed a brief in the case, arguing that the Vermont law violated the First Amendment rights of food manufacturers. WLF argued that Vermont’s sole justification for the law—a desire to satisfy the curiosity of Vermont consumers—was insufficient grounds for compelling manufacturers to speak involuntarily. Although the dismissal means that WLF did not obtain a court ruling on its First Amendment claims, WLF is gratified that the Vermont law will not be enforced.
Case Status:
Appeal dismissed; challenged law is inoperative.
More Information and Downloads:
7/1/2015: Download the Brief
Press Release: WLF Urges Court to Strike Down Vermont Law Requiring Labeling of Genetically Engineered Food
Press Release: Second Circuit Will Hear Oral Argument in Challenge to VT Law on Labeling Genetically-Engineered Food
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