Next steps on GMO labeling efforts

GMO labelingUSDA Secretary Vilsack commented publicly last week about the talks he had convened among stakeholders on GMO labeling. Disclosing that the talks broke down over whether GMOs had to be disclosed in an on-package label, or if it would be sufficient to use electronic QR codes, he said this is something Congress will have to address. He also warned that the Vermont labeling law, set to take effect this summer, would create uncertainty and confusion in the market, and lead to increased costs to consumers. This past week, Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) indicated he will soon introduce a bill to preempt and prevent state GMO labeling laws from taking effect or being enacted. His bill is likely to preempt state efforts, but not call for on-package GMO labeling. Senate Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is also working on a resolution to the labeling issue, and anticipates Senators would have to come up with a compromise.

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