GMO Labeling Bill

July 23, 2016 at 2:45 PM


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The new GMO labeling bill passed last week has both sides of the issue grumbling. The bill was a response to Vermont’s GMO labeling law in an effort to have a nationwide standard. The measure says that within a few years foods with genetically engineered ingredients will be “labeled.” It’s that labeled part that gets tricky.

According to a New York Times story, companies have several choices for labeling:

  • They can add text to a label stating that it contains genetically engineered ingredients
  • Put a symbol (yet to be determined) on packaging to denote such ingredients
  • Or use a digital link like a QR code that consumers can scan with their smartphone

That QR code part upsets groups that have rallied for direct labeling on the product. On the other side, anti-GMO label organizations aren’t happy with any labeling at all. “I don’t think it’s the best bill we could have, but it’s the best bill we could pass,” Delaware farmer Richard Wilkins told NPR. He’s also the president of the American Soybean Association.

According to the NPR story, the Organic Trade Association opted to support the compromise because “the law includes some special benefits for the organic industry. It includes, for instance, a provision that allows organic food companies to label their products as non-GMO.”