U.S. Senate Starts Debate on Voluntary GMO Labeling Bill

by  Sustainable  Food  News, March  15,  2016

The  U.S.  Senate  on  Monday  proceeded  to  a  floor  debate  on  legislation  that  would  establish  a  ScaryGMOvoluntary  labeling  system  for  foods  made  with  genetically modified  organisms  (GMOs)  and  prohibit  states  from  enacting  their  own  labeling  laws.

Sen.  Pat  Roberts  (R-­Kan.),  chairman  of  the  Senate  Agriculture  Committee,  filed  on  Monday  a  new  version  of  his  bill  (S.2609),  which  was  approved  by the  committee  on  March  1.

The  new  version  of  the  bill  was  submitted  Monday  as  an  amendment  (SA3450)  to  the  Defund  Planned  Parenthood  Act  of  2015  (S.764),  which  will  be considered  on  the  Senate  floor  Tuesday  morning.  Votes  on  the  legislation  are  expected  as  early  as  Wednesday.

The  amendment  contains  substitute  language  aimed  at  satisfying  some  members’  concerns  over  the  need  for  more  robust  disclosure  of  GMOs  on  food packaging.

First,  it  allows  food  manufacturers  to  label  foods,  if  they  so  chose,  with  “scannable  images  or  codes”  that  “clearly  indicates  to  consumers  that  more information  is  available  about  the  ingredients  of  the  food.”

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U.S. Senate starts debate on voluntary GMO labeling bill