JUL 10, 2016 10:56 AM PDT

GM Food Labeling Bill Passes Senate, Heads to House

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch
2 3 150

Last week, the U.S. Senate passed a bill that aims to create national standards for labeling food made with genetically modified organisms (GMOs), by a vote of 63 to 30. It can be considered a win for farm groups, biotech firms and food companies, all of which have been lobbying the federal government to head off a patchwork of state labeling laws with a national standard. But critics of GMO say the bill doesn't do enough to protect consumers who want to know whether GM ingredients are in their food.

Speaking against the bill, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) described it as "a farce of a proposal." He asserted that "with the swift speed with which the proponents of this bill have moved, with no committee process, no debate or amendment process, we will not be able to ensure the language in this bill does exactly what they say that it does. Just take their word for it."

As a voice in favor of the bill, Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) said "it will provide fair and objective information without stigmatizing foods that are completely safe. After months of discussion, we have found a sensible proposal that will bring the right information into our homes and to grocery stores in a responsible way."

The legislation (S. 764), would stop states from issuing their own mandatory labeling laws and instead require food manufacturers to use one of three different labels - plain language, or a QR code, or for small businesses, simply a phone number for more information - to inform consumers about GMOs in products. Critics complain that there are no stated penalties for companies that don't comply with the law, and that the bill's definitions of GMOs will allow some ingredients to escape labeling requirements.

The bill now has to pass the House of Representatives, which is soon to go on summer recess.
About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
JUL 01, 2018
Videos
JUL 01, 2018
Growing Patient Cells on a Chip for Personalized Drug Screens
This work could help eliminate animal models, and tailor medicine to the patient.
JUL 02, 2018
Technology
JUL 02, 2018
Video: Listen to Satellites With NASA Sound Art
The Orbit Pavilion Delivers Satellite Data as Sound
JUL 24, 2018
Plants & Animals
JUL 24, 2018
These Animals Experience Harsher Childbirths Than Humans
You might be quick to think that humans have it hard during childbirth, but compared to a few other species in the animal kingdom, humans actually have it
JUL 31, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUL 31, 2018
The Gross Things That Lurk in Swimming Pools
The warmer temperatures associated with Summertime inevitably lead to more swimming pool visits, but have you ever stopped to think about the gross things
AUG 11, 2018
Videos
AUG 11, 2018
GMO Crop Ban Rescinded
Genetically modified crops that use neonic pesticides can now be planted in wildlife refuges.
AUG 11, 2018
Videos
AUG 11, 2018
Hit The Sweet Spot - MIT's Image Awards
MIT researchers are trying to engineer a smarter insulin.
Loading Comments...