Votes on GMO labeling law could happen this week

SenateSenator Pat Roberts (R-KS) filed a revised GMO labeling bill on Monday that could receive a vote on the Senate floor as soon as this Wednesday. This bill would create a voluntary labeling protocol for bioengineered foods, with a variety of disclosure options, including on-pack, QR code, social media, or a 1-800 number. After a few years, if that disclosure was adopted on less than 70% of foods, then a mandatory disclosure protocol would be triggered. However, in reality, because the labeling parameters can be met with as little as a 1-800 number, the voluntary labeling scheme would not change the status quo nor give consumers meaningful information about what is in their food, and the trigger to mandatory would never be met. The bill is also problematic because it creates inconsistencies with the existing USDA certified organic seal, and the regulations implementing the Organic Foods Production Act. Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) opposes this bill, and is trying to continue to work towards a meaningful federal mandatory labeling solution. OTA’s Government Affairs team continues to work closely with policymakers on crafting a meaningful federal mandatory labeling solution consistent with the organic regulations. Please contact Marni Karlin if you have any questions or concerns, and keep an eye on your inboxes!

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