Friday, July 08, 2016

Senate passes GMO bill to counter Vermont's; loopholes could exclude labeling some foods

The Senate voted 63-30 Thursday to require labels listing genetically modified food ingredients in the form of "words, pictures or a bar code that can be scanned with smartphones," Chris Prentce reports for Reuters. The measure now goes to the House, where it is expected to pass. (Image from Reddit)

Sponsored by Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) the move "is the latest attempt to introduce a national standard that would override state laws, including Vermont’s that some say is more stringent, and comes amid growing calls from consumers for greater transparency," Prentice writes. "A nationwide standard is favored by the food industry, which says state-by-state differences could inflate costs for labeling and distribution. But mandatory GMO labeling of any kind would still be seen as a loss for Big Food, which has spent millions lobbying against it."

The measure does have loopholes, Prentice writes. "Food ingredients like beet sugar and soybean oil, which can be derived from genetically-engineered crops but contain next to no genetic material by the time they are processed, may not fall under the law’s definition of a bioengineered food, critics say. GMO corn may also be excluded thanks to ambiguous language, some said." (Read more)

No comments: