Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin  signed into law yesterday  Vermont’s genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling measure. While Vermont’s legislators have attempted to craft its GMO labeling measure to be resistant to a lawsuit, some legal experts are saying that recent Supreme Court precedent does not appear to work in the state’s favor.

“The Supreme Court’s growing interest in safeguarding the constitutional rights of commercial speakers does not bode well for Vermont, and legal challenges to the Vermont law may be hard to defeat,” Bert Rein, founding partner of Washington, D.C.,-based law firm Wiley Rein LLP, and John Barry, a partner in the firm, wrote in an article for Food Safety Magazine. In particular, the lawyers note, the recent Sorrell v. IMS Health decision, which detailed that “freedom of speech includes the right not to disseminate government-mandated messages unless the government can demonstrate that the required disclosure is carefully tailored to advance a substantial state interest that cannot be advanced less intrusively.” The full op-ed is available here.

The details of the Vermont measure are available here.

The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) responded to Governor Peter Shumlin’s signing of Vermont’s mandatory GMO labeling bill by confirming it will file suit against the state to overturn the law and will do so sometime soon.

“Consumers who prefer to avoid GM ingredients have the option to choose from an array of products already in the marketplace labeled ‘certified organic.’ The government therefore has no compelling interest in warning consumers about foods containing GM ingredients, making this law’s legality suspect at best,” the group said in a statement. “In light of this fact, in the coming weeks, GMA will file suit in federal court against the state of Vermont to overturn the law.”

Meanwhile, a bill that would also require GMO labeling has passed a hurdle in the New York Assembly. The measure was endorsed Tuesday by the assembly’s Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee. A vote of the full assembly has not been scheduled.

The bill would apply to genetically modified fruits, vegetables and processed foods as well as items that contain ingredients like oil or sugar that are derived from genetically engineered crops.

Maine and Connecticut has also adopted a labeling law but the requirement in those states will not take effect until other states follow suit.