Published: Tue, July 19, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Industry groups pleased with Senate cloture vote on GMO labeling

Late last night, the U.S. Senate agreed to a bill that sets a standard for labels on genetically-modified food. But as Harvest Public Media's Peggy Lowe reports, it's still a food fight.

"The American people have a right to know what they're eating", Sanders said.

Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will support a compromise food labeling bill that, if passed and signed into law, will require disclosure on food packages of the presence of genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs.

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. They argued that Congress was inevitably going to pass some sort of bill to preempt Vermont's labeling law, and that this proposal contained key advantages for the organic industry. "With final passage by the Senate, approval by the House, and with President Obama's signature, we can establish a national framework to provide information to consumers without stigmatizing agricultural biotechnology and complicating how companies market foods in interstate commerce". The legislation was sponsored by farm-state lawmakers.

Many food producers say they are fine with labeling GMO products (though some lobbyists lost a bid to prohibit labeling laws earlier this year), but want a federal structure to avoid a patchwork of different, possibly conflicting, requirements. It was approved after moments of unusual theater, including visitors in the gallery throwing cash on the Senate floor to protest contributions made by Monsanto to senators backing the bill. The most stark difference between the Vermont law and the Roberts-Stabenow bill is the plain language labeling required in Vermont.

Sanders distributed a letter Thursday to his Democratic colleagues in the Senate outlining why the legislation crafted by Sen.

The food industry also supported the measure, since it would override the Vermont law and head off a move by other states considering their own GMO labels.

TraceGains is among the Food Logistics Top 100 software and technology providers and a Top 20 Information Technology Firm by Coloradobiz magazine. Hirono said. "We need to make sure that the final label options are as clear as possible and the regulatory process takes the concerns of Hawai'i farmers and consumers into account".

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