Senate Ag Committee to markup GMO labeling bill

capitalThe Senate Agriculture Committee is set to consider GMO labeling legislation this Thursday morning. Chairman Pat Roberts (R-KS) introduced a bill last Friday that would preempt state and local governments from passing GMO labeling laws, and would set up a voluntary GMO labeling regime at USDA. It also includes a definition of biotechnology that conflicts with the definitions included in the organic regulations, and requires USDA to create a consumer education platform around the benefits of biotechnology. Media reports indicate that negotiations are ongoing between Senator Roberts and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) on a potential compromise bill, so the precise contours of what legislation will be marked up on Thursday remain in flux. OTA’s Government Affairs team has been actively engaged with the policymakers, ensuring that organic’s voice is heard and making our opposition known to any legislation that creates an unfair playing field for organic. Were a bill to pass out of the Agriculture Committee, its path to the floor of the Senate also remains unclear, as the politics of getting floor time are complicated. OTA’s Government Affairs team will continue to remain actively engaged with the policymakers, and will keep you posted.  Contact Marni Karlin, OTA’s Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel, with any questions or concerns—and  keep an eye on your inboxes for updates as the week progresses.

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