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Senate Passes GMO Labeling Bill

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

(North American Meat Institute)

The Senate last week voted 63-30 to pass a genetically modified organism (GMO) labeling bill (S. 764) that, if enacted, would preempt state GMO labeling laws and establish a mandatory GMO labeling program within USDA. The bill would require food companies to provide on-package labeling, on-package electronic labeling or a symbol that would be developed by USDA to disclose genetically engineered ingredients. The bill exempts meat and dairy products derived from animals that are fed biotech feed and foods in which meat and poultry are the main ingredients.

The bill now proceeds to the House of Representatives, where it must gain approval prior to heading to President Obama for his signature. The House could consider the legislation as early as this week before lawmakers break for the national party conventions and the August recess.

Meanwhile, Vermont’s GMO labeling law took effect July 1. The law exempts meat and poultry products and state leaders have indicated they will not begin actively enforcing the law for six months. The Senate bill, if passed by the House and signed into law by the President, would block implementation of Vermont’s labeling mandate.

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