U. S. House of Representatives Vote to Ban States from Labeling GMO Foods

This past month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act” See http://agriculture.house.gov/sites/republicans.agriculture.house.gov/files/pdf/GMO_02_xml%207-12-15.pdf that if it became law, would prevent states from labeling products with Genetically Modified Organisms. Instead, this legislation would create a voluntary program for manufacturers who desire to do their own labeling of GMO on their food products. Any manufacturers who decide to voluntary disclose that their products contain GMOs would have to undergo a certification process through the Department of Agriculture. Given the enormous effort by food manufacturers to fight off GMO labeling, it is difficult to imagine any of them seeking to voluntarily disclose that their products contain GMOs.

While GMO labeling initiatives have failed in a number of states, Vermont, Maine and Connecticut have passed GMO-labeling laws and if the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act became law, those states would have to repeal their current GMO Labeling laws. Food manufacturers are suing those states in the federal courts and this legislation is widely seen as an attempt to help food manufacturers fend off any other states who decide to pass GMO labeling laws.

Opponents of the legislation argued that citizens overwhelming support the labeling of GMO food products and pointed to the many other nations who already have GMO labeling laws. To see some of the prominent arguments by opponents to this legislation, who support GMO labeling, see the following video of the House debate: http://on.aol.com/video/democrats-hammer-house-ban-on-gmo-labeling-518963338?socialmd=0|577|63|4

In order to become law, the legislation must go to the United States Senate to be passed and then signed into law by the President. It in unclear whether or not the Senate will take up the House bill.

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