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Policy

Federal Food Labeling Bill Introduced

by Britt E. Erickson
April 14, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 15

Legislation that would create a federal standard for labeling foods that contain genetically modified ingredients was introduced in the House of Representatives last week by Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.). The Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2014 (H.R. 4432) aims to protect the food industry from a patchwork of state labeling laws that industry claims could raise food prices. The bill would require new genetically modified foods to be reviewed for safety by FDA before they enter the market. FDA could require labeling of genetically modified products that are found to pose a health risk or that are different from foods without genetically modified ingredients. The bill has support from agricultural groups and food manufacturers that are seeking to override state food labeling laws, but environmental groups, food safety advocates, and organic growers are promising to fight it. Opponents of H.R. 4432 say it would limit FDA’s authority to require companies to label genetically modified products. The Energy & Commerce Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the bill this summer.

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