Action On A National GMO Labeling Measure Heats Up On Capitol Hill


A mockup of a possible GMO label on a can of Campbell’s Spaghetti-Os, with these words: “Partially produced with genetic engineering.” Lawmakers are scrambling to piece together a national GMO labeling standard before July 1.

Courtesy of Campbell Soup Company

With a July 1 deadline looming, Congress was scrambling this week to quickly set a national standard for labeling food products that contain genetically modified ingredients.

While most lawmakers mentioned polls showing the majority of Americans support GMO labeling, they differed on whether a national system should be voluntary or mandatory. A measure passed in the U.S. House last summer sets voluntary labeling standards.

The first mandatory GMO labeling law is set to go into effect in Vermont in July – Kansas Republican Sen. Pat Roberts has called it a “wrecking ball” headed the food industry’s way. Roberts, the chair of the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee, won first-round approval on Tuesday for his own GMO labeling bill – which would preempt Vermont’s law.

Roberts’ bill would create a voluntary USDA labeling standard for GMO foods. Perhaps more importantly, it specifically prevents states from creating t…

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