Lawmakers update voluntary GMO labeling bill with USDA program

By Sarah Gonzalez

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.



WASHINGTON, June 12, 2015- A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee will review next week an updated version of a food labeling bill that would create a national standard for the voluntary labeling of food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

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Reps. Mike Pompeo, R-Kan., and G.K. Butterfield, D-N.C., first introduced the Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act, H.R. 1599, in March. They recently released a discussion draft of an amendment that the committee will consider along with the original bill. This new language would allow food makers to go through a USDA program to receive a certified non-GMO label for their products. That program would be similar to one now administered by USDA for its National Organic Program.

 

The Coalition for Safe and Affordable Food, which consists of several agricultural and food groups that oppose mandatory GMO labeling, said the draft language “will ensure the legislation can gain even broader support.”

National Council of Farmer Cooperatives (NCFC) President and CEO Chuck Conner said the changes outlined in the discussion draft will strengthen the bill and “will further strengthen consumer confidence in food safety and model a new labeling program on the proven success of organic certification.”

The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health scheduled the hearing, “A National Framework for the Review and Labeling of Biotechnology in Food,” for Thursday, June 18.

 

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