February 22, 2016
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman, introduced proposed legislation last week that would set up a federal voluntary GMO labeling system, which would also pre-empt state laws that would require GMO labeling.
The new bill would amend the Agricultural Marketing Act of 1946 by requiring the Secretary of Agriculture to create a national voluntary GMO labeling standard. The legislation will establish a national framework that places standards in the hands of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and creates a campaign that will educate the public on both the safety of GMOs and on the way in which they can find out more about the foods they purchase.
The legislation comes as the agriculture industry is under a sense of urgency created by the July 1, 2016, effective date of Vermont’s mandatory law requiring on-package labels of foods containing ingredients that have been genetically modified. It is believed that congressional action is needed to avert major supply chain disruptions and inefficiencies in production, storage, transportation, manufacturing and distribution of food and feed that would translate into significant cost increases for consumers.
The Senate Agriculture Committee is scheduled to mark-up the proposal Thursday, Feb. 25. Click here to read the bill.
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