GMO Labeling Issues Continue to Percolate in U.S. Senate

For the past few months, lawmakers in the U.S. Senate have been working to resolve issues regarding legislation dealing with the labeling of food products that contain Genetically Modified (GMO) ingredients.

Ken Anderson reported last Monday that, “Senate Agriculture Committee leaders say they made some progress last week on a GMO labeling compromise, but several issues remain unresolved.

“Committee Chairman Pat Roberts and ranking member Debbie Stabenow have reportedly been engaged in ‘intense negotiations,’ trying to find common ground on the issue. One remaining argument, according to a Politico report, is over what to do about processed foods that contain both meat and genetically modified crops like corn, soybeans and sugar from sugar beets. The livestock and dairy industries are pushing for a labeling exemption for meat and dairy products that come from animals fed GMO feed.”

On Thursday, Des Moines Register writer Christopher Doering reported that, “Senate lawmakers struggling to reach a deal on how to label food containing genetically modified ingredients said Thursday they are making progress, but acknowledged time is running out before Vermont’s first-in-the-nation labeling law takes effect next month.

“Congress has only six working days before July 1, when Vermont begins requiring that all foods containing genetically modified products be labeled. Any bill approved by the Senate would have to clear the House, which is in recess the last week of June.”

The Register article added: “‘We are still negotiating, and I think we’re getting much closer,’ Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., told reporters. ‘We have to act. We can’t allow this to happen on the first of July with the Vermont labeling law.’

“Roberts said there are still ‘several areas of disagreement‘ but he declined to say what they were.”

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