GMO Labeling Deal in Senate Unlikely Before Summer

Christopher Doering reported in today’s Des Moines Register that, “Sen. Chuck Grassley said Tuesday it will be difficult for Congress to reach a bipartisan deal on labeling products containing genetically modified ingredients before Vermont’s own law takes effect this summer.

Congress last week was unable to advance a bill banning states from establishing their own GMO labeling laws. Instead, it would create a voluntary program where producers could put “smart labels” on their products.

“In a failed attempt the help attract enough Democratic support, the food industry would have three years to bring 70 percent of its products into compliance or the Agriculture Department would be allowed to make the labeling requirement mandatory.”

The Register article quoted Sen. Grassley as saying, “It’s going to be very difficult to get such a bipartisan agreement, and I wouldn’t be surprised that what you are going to find (is) some food companies that think the business for 600,000 people in Vermont is probably not worth it, and they’ll quit doing business there.”

Mr. Doering added that, “With growing uncertainty over whether Congress will act and what a final agreement will look like, General Mills, Mars and other companies have announced they will place GMO labels on their products to comply with the Vermont law.”

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