Senate draft bill would pre-empt state GMO labeling laws

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Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has unveiled legislation to pre-empt states from issuing their own mandatory labeling laws for foods that contain genetically modified ingredients.

The draft bill, which the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry Committee will markup [February 25], requires the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a national voluntary labeling standard for bioengineered, or GMO, foods.

. . . .

“I will continue to work with members of the Agriculture Committee on potential amendments. However, we are out of time,” [Robert] said. “The time to act is now. Negotiations will continue in an effort to reach committee agreement.”

The legislation is similar to the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015 that passed the House in June, outraging consumer groups lobbying for mandatory labeling laws.

Related article:  Greenpeace, activist groups call on tight regulation of new genetic engineering methods

“This bill is a desperate attempt by the junk food and chemical industries to keep Americans in the dark about what we feed our families,” said Lisa Archer, Friends of the Earth Food and Technology program director, in a statement about the Senate bill. . . .

Any member of Congress that chooses to support Roberts’ bill, she said, will find they are on the wrong side of history.

Proponents of the House bill, however, praised Roberts for introducing similar legislation on the Senate side.

. . . . Jennifer Hatcher, a spokeswoman for the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), said in a statement . . . “Without immediate action, costs in the supply chain will escalate rapidly and once the resources are expended, consumer costs will inevitably rise.”

Read full, original post: GOP senator unveils bill to block state GMO label laws

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