Campbell backs national GMO labels as act passes Senate hurdle

But as Harvest Public Media's Peggy Lowe reports, it's still a food fight. If passed in the House [official website], this law would stand as a national standard for displaying GMO contents and replace all state-based GMO packaging laws, including more stringent laws in states like Vermont.

The bill has drawn fierce opposition from consumer advocates, who complain that it contains too many loopholes and zero consequences for companies that fail to properly label their products.

This is a slap in the face for all of the activists that have worked hard to pass state-level measures because they believe strongly that labels should be transparent, and that they should decide whether or not they are purchasing and consuming foods with genetically engineered ingredients. Food companies can place wording on a food package, use a QR code, or offer a phone number for those wanting more information. They argued that Congress was inevitably going to pass some sort of bill to preempt Vermont's labeling law, and that this proposal contained key advantages for the organic industry. Rhode Island is eyeing adoption of GMO legislation, as have other states.

Mulhern noted that almost 3,000 products have been pulled from Vermont supermarket shelves in the past week, as a result of companies making decisions not to sell certain products there, now that the state's own mandatory labeling law is in effect. In many rural parts of the country we have significant technological challenges that make it almost impossible for consumers to access electronic or digital disclosure methods allowed in this bill.

Senators voted 63-30 for GMO l barcodes, Reuters reported.

I think GMO labelling is a awful idea - not because we should hide or somehow keep ingredients secret, but because we can't inform a public that is ignorant about genetics and genomics. House passage would send the bill to President Obama for his signature. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., the committee's chairman, on the GMO bill. Supporters said a uniform national standard would prevent a confusing patchwork of different state labels that would lead to higher costs and compliance challenges for food makers. They want labels to clearly print the disclosure without requiring smartphones.

Background: On March 16, 2016, the U.S. Senate with wide bi-partisan support rejected a legislative proposal introduced by Sen. The bill now heads to the House who recently passed their own labeling act.

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