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Food industry presses for voluntary GMO labeling standards

| | November 20, 2013

Crucial players in the American food industry are pressing for legislation that would institute a national voluntary labeling system for products that contain genetically engineered ingredients, according to documents obtained by The Hill.

The effort follows expensive battles in California and Washington over state ballot initiatives seeking to impose mandatory labeling regulations for foodstuffs containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

Federal legislation imposing voluntary standards is needed to “guard against a costly, unnecessary and inefficient state-by-state system,” according to a memo being circulated among food industry trade groups.

A coalition led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) is behind the effort, industry officials said. Supporters of mandatory GOP labeling worry federal legislation could pre-empt state laws that would require the labels.

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