Policy Update: GMO Labeling
Washington, July 22, 2016
You may have heard that on July 14th, after years of debate on the issue, the House passed S.Amdt. 4937 to S. 764, a bill regulating Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) labeling. The compromise, which was considered must-pass legislation by food manufacturers and farmers alike, sets guidelines for just how far a state can go in requiring certain labeling in grocery stores in that state. The urgency
While genetically engineered foods are already monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for adverse effects on health, states like Vermont wanted to place noticeable warning labels on foods containing GMOs – and, absent federal regulation, they could require such labels. And, while many manufacturers agreed that consumers had a right to know which foods contain GMOs – and were willing to create new labels for such products – there were significant concerns regarding just how expensive and restrictive a different label for each state could be. Federal guidelines were necessary to ensure that states would not each require slightly different packaging requirements that would lead to skyrocketing compliance costs for food manufacturers, resulting in higher costs at the grocery store for Americans across the nation.
The GMO labeling bill, which was a compromise between H.R. 1599 in the House and S. 764 in the Senate, would require mandatory labeling