President Obama Would Sign GMO Labeling Measure Into Law

Bloomberg writers Alan Bjerga and Angela Greiling Keane reported yesterday that, “The White House plans to support legislation creating a national labeling standard for foods containing genetically modified organisms even though consumer groups criticize the bill for allowing information to live behind special codes, and for exempting meat and eggs.

“‘While there is broad consensus that foods from genetically engineered crops are safe, we appreciate the bipartisan effort to address consumers’ interest in knowing more about their food, including whether it includes ingredients from genetically engineered crops,’ White House spokeswoman Katie Hill said in an e-mail. ‘We look forward to tracking its progress in the House and anticipate the president would sign it in its current form.’

“The Senate-passed labeling bill, S. 764, is to be taken up in the House this week. The chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Republican Mike Conaway of Texas, has signaled his approval, making it more likely the proposal will pass the chamber and end up on Obama’s desk.”

The Bloomberg writers added that, “The law doesn’t mandate printing ‘GMO’ on the exterior, instead offering three options for disclosure: text on the packaging, a symbol, or an electronic link that would direct consumers to a website for more information.

Beef, pork, poultry and eggs wouldn’t be subject to labeling, though the deal would cover many other grocery staples including corn flakes and cooking oil. The bill also would tightly define genetic engineering in ways the biotech industry wanted, not including new techniques such as gene editing.

State-imposed labeling requirements would be banned and producers that have secured a ‘certified organic’ designation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture would be allowed to clearly display a ‘non-GMO’ label on their products.”

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