Earlier today, President Obama signed the GMO compromise labeling bill.
The bill was the result of lots of bipartisan negotiation and compromise. It requires companies to put some labeling on products with ingredients produced through genetic engineering. One option is a QR code that customers could scan to learn more information about the ingredients of the products. This could be an excellent opportunity for companies to educate consumers about the safety and sustainability of biotechnology.
The bill passed the Senate and House earlier in July.
The law will effectively pre-empt the Vermont labeling law. That means, it will no longer be enforceable. The Vermont law was extremely confusing for companies and consumers. Once it went into effect, Vermont shoppers were made aware that nearly 3,000 products would no longer be shipped to the state as a result. The Vermont law was essentially a national labeling law.
It is expected that anti-GMO groups will file suit against the new federal law.
Eric Bjerregaard says
Hey Amanda, Remember when I complained about this law expanding the feds power to compel speech? One of the grounds for the GMA suit against Vermont was compelled speech. It’ll be pretty funny if that is what the antis use against this law.
How can it be called a requirement when there are no consequences for not complying? More like a suggestion. The whole ordeal is a waste of time and money, ends up stifling freedom and marketplace competition, and further empowers large food companies. There is already a working labeling system.
If it doesnt say non gmo or organic there is a good chance a food product contains gmos unless it is fresh produce. Those for whom the GMO issue is important have lots of options to find what they want. For those who it is not an issue, why further burdon them?
States may be able to enforce the law, even if it could not be done on a federal level. Nonetheless, I’m perfectly content with that.
I would only say that just because a food doesn’t have an organic or non-GMO label does not mean that it necessarily contains GMOs. I think that’s painting a too broad brush.
elaine hanson says
While I wish a different form of this law had been enacted (allowing the choice of labeling food as having GMO ingredients, or not having them), this is certainly better than granting the wishes of those who seek to misinform consumers about the safety of our food supply. Maybe this law will revive a bill such as that proposed by Rep Steve King (Iowa) to preempt state laws that dictate how farmers and ranchers in other states produce our eggs, dairy, and meat. California passed such a law regarding the sale of shell eggs, and Massachusetts is threatened with one that would apply to all products from food animals. I recall that at the time Rep King’s bill was being considered someone (perhaps King himself) said that without a federal law preempting individual states’ control of how food is grown or produced in other states, California could prohibit the sale of products containing soybeans from Nebraska unless the beans were hauled to market in green trucks powered by propane. The analogy still gives me a giggle, but that’s quickly followed by the sobering reality of how dangerous it is to let extremist groups hoodwink consumers and lawmakers into passing insidious laws intended to compound the cost and difficulty of producing affordable, wholesome food animal products – until there are none.
Great points about the effect these laws have! I actually wrote a little bit more about it here: https://www.thefarmersdaughterusa.com/2014/02/explaining-why-californias-egg-law-is.html