Senate backs bill to label genetically modified food

"This bill is a travesty, an undemocratic and discriminatory bill which preempts state laws, while offering no meaningful labeling for GMOs", said Friends of the Earth.

In 2013, CT became the first state to pass a law requiring GMO labeling, but the requirement was never implemented because of a trigger provision: four other states with a combined population of 20 million first have to adopt a similar standard before Connecticut's law will take effect.

The concern about labeling of either animal feed, or products like eggs, milk or meat produced by animals eating a feed comprised or, or containing, genetically engineered ingredients has been another facet of the GMO labeling discussion. "Operating under a patchwork of state labeling laws will lead to unprecedented logistical problems for food distributors, which in turn will drive up costs for consumers and create onerous red tape for supermarket operators".

Supporters of the bill praised the Senate action and urged the House to quickly approve the measure next week before lawmakers recess. "Now that the Senate has done its job, we ask the House to move swiftly so this needed legislation can be delivered to the President for his signature". The biggest sticking point is that it gives companies the opportunity to refrain from displaying information directly on the packaging, and instead opt to place a telephone number or digital code that consumers could use to obtain more information.

The Senate just voted to usher in nationwide mandatory labeling of genetically modified foods.

CT has adopted and will implement GMO labeling if four other states comprising 20 million people move ahead with the same legislation. Some ingredients, such as beet sugar and soybean oil, can be derived from GMO crops, but after refining, there is little or no genetic material left.

The Agriculture Department would have two years to write the rules.

The food industry says 75 percent to 80 percent of foods contain genetically modified ingredients _ most of those corn and soy-based.

While most scientists say that genetically modified foods do not pose a risk to human health, consumers should have a right to more information about what they are eating.

Senator Pat Roberts, one of the bill's sponsors, has admitted that it's "not the best possible bill", but likely is "the best bill possible under the hard circumstances we find ourselves in today".

"It is deeply disturbing that a majority in the Senate would support a bill that openly discriminates against America's low income, rural and elderly populations".

Vermont requires labelling of productions with GMO ingredients. The bill also clarifies that companies can not label a product as non-GMO simply because the product is not required to carry a GMO disclosure - such as milk from a cow that has been fed GMO feed. Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, is insufficient. There are plans are to negotiate the Senate bill with the one calling for voluntary labeling that was passed by the House. The U.S. House of Representatives will also have to pass its own version of the legislation before the Senate bill can become law. He is also appealing to the full Senate membership to support an amendment that would replace the Senate bill with Vermonts law on a national scale.

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