Vermont has become the first state in the US to pass a bill that requires the labelling of genetically modified foods.
The Vermont House approved the bill last week, with governor Peter Shumlin stating that the new law will come into effect from 1 July, 2016 to give manufacturers time to comply.
"I am proud of Vermont for being the first state in the nation to ensure that Vermonters will know what is in their food," Shumlin said in statement.
ABC News reports that the new bill will see offenders pay a penalty of $1,000 per day per product for “false certification” with the fine applying to the general product, not each individual item or package within the particular category.
According to The Guardian, twenty nine other states together with Vermont have proposed bills this year to require the labelling of genetically modified food.
According to Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ), foods in Australia must be labelled if they contain GM ingredients, however if a GM ingredient is highly refined, (ie cooking oils and sugar) they do not have to be labelled.
The decision to not label highly refined products is based on the notion that processing removes DNA and protein from the food, resulting in GM foods holding the same composition as non-GM varieties.
Currently, Australia does not permit the sale of GM fresh foods including fruit and vegetables.