Issue Date: July 20, 2015
Food Labeling Bill Advances
Bipartisan legislation that would bar states from enacting laws that require the labeling of genetically modified foods cleared the Agriculture Committee in the House of Representatives last week. The Energy & Commerce Committee, which shares jurisdiction over the issue, is expected to waive its voting rights and send the measure to the House floor for a vote as early as this week. The proposed Safe & Accurate Food Labeling Act (H.R. 1599) would establish a voluntary federal program overseen by the Department of Agriculture to certify that specific foods do not contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would also require the Food & Drug Administration to define the term “natural” when used on food labels. The food industry supports the legislation, claiming that the current patchwork of state laws with varying labeling requirements poses a threat to interstate commerce and leads to inconsistent and confusing information for consumers. Opponents include environmental activists and organic farmers, who support mandatory labeling of GMO foods.
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