This "compromise" bill allows producers to use QR codes and "smart labels" instead of clear, on-package labeling of food products that contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). But as Harvest Public Media's Peggy Lowe reports, it's still a food fight.
The U.S. Senate managed to pass a procedural cloture vote on GMO labeling, setting up a possible final vote. On the campaign trail many years ago, he promised reform on many food issues-from giving family farmers a fair shot in the marketplace to food labeling, saying we had the right to know whether or food is genetically engineered or not.
The approval is a big win for food companies, farm groups and the biotech industry, which began pushing for a national standard a year ago to head off a Vermont labeling law that went into effect last Friday.
The Senate passed the bill 63-30 late Thursday despite criticism that the bill's definition of bioengineering was so tight that it would exempt from disclosure many highly refined ingredients, including oils and starches, and products developed through gene editing and other newer techniques.
The Senate bill would allow most food companies three methods of disclosure through a digital code that can be read smartphones or with a symbol or text on package labels. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have all reaffirmed their long-standing recognition of the safety of the technology.
We are grateful that the staff and leadership of ABA have advocated so strongly for a legislative solution that is based on science and recognizes the very basic concepts of interstate commerce. "The unfortunate scenario you could see coming down the pike is other state laws coming into effect that would be in conflict with each other". They threw $2,000 in bills down to the Senate floor during a vote.
Genetically modified foods are plants or animals that have had genes copied from other plants or animals inserted into their DNA.
That history could make winning in the House an even steeper challenge for food industry lobbyists and supporters of the current version of the bill.
She said: "Nearly 90 percent of Americans support common sense food labeling". Reid said when Republicans took over from him, they promised more open rules. He argued that "with the swift speed with which the proponents of this bill have moved, with no committee process, no debate or amendment process, we will not be able to ensure the language in this bill does exactly what they say that it does".