Food Industry Unites to Block State GMO Labeling Laws

January 28, 2016

In a last-ditch effort to fight against mandatory food labeling of GMO products, many of the nation’s food and farm industries are joining a national coalition to campaign against the state laws. Opponents of the new mandate set to take effect on July 1st in Vermont, the first state to require such labeling, argue that a patchwork of 50 different state labeling laws will cause huge enormous problems for the food and farming industries. According to a 2015 report by the Department of Agriculture, labeling GMO foods and beverages would change packaging on thousands of products. Proponents of the new labeling laws counter that consumers have a right to know what’s in the food that they eat.

The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, is currently funding an ad campaign to urge Congress to pass a national uniform labeling standard to combat the calls for on-package labeling of GMO –containing food products. The goal of this campaign’s final push is to not only establish national standards on food labeling legislation that supersedes any state regulations, but also to virtually eliminate mandatory on-package GMO labels, such as those that Vermont will require. In 2015, the U.S. House passed a bill that would have accomplished those goals, but the bill is now sitting in the Senate Agricultural Committee, where heated lobbying on both sides continues.

In addition, Secretary Vilsack’s attempt to help the two sides find common ground failed to produce any substantive results. Secretary Vilsack organized a meeting between GMO labeling advocates and industry officials to discuss viable options.  The GMO labeling advocates, however, remained avid in their stance on mandatory GMO labeling and rejected an industry proposal to use electronic labeling.

To view an article from the Orlando Sentinel, click here.


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