Democratic critics of voluntary GMO labeling bill launch attacks

Critics of a GMO regulation bill are proposing amendments that would add restrictions or exemptions to the legislation and allow farmers to claim  government compensation for some damages from herbicide drift or contamination by genetically engineered crops.

The 14 amendments filed before the Monday, July 20 deadline also included one by Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., that would kill the key section of the Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act (HR 1599) that would block states from requiring the labeling of foods with biotech ingredients.

The House is expected to debate the bill later soon.

Denzel McGuire, executive vice president of government relations at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, expressed confidence that the bill would pass. “It’s looking good. It’s just a matter of how big a margin we’ll have. We fully expect to win on this,” she said.

Authors of the bill filed a manager’s amendment that seeks to clarify that the Safe and Affordable Food Labeling Act wouldn’t stop states or local governments from banning the cultivation of genetically engineered crops.

In addition to preempting state labeling laws, the bill also would set requirements for labeling foods as non-GMO and would direct the Food and Drug Administration to define the term “natural.”

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, is proposing to require the Agriculture Department to compensate farmers for damage due to cross-pollination or seed contamination from genetically engineered crops, or by herbicide drift from a biotech field.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: House Democrats set attacks on GMO bill

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